Joseph McKeen
Center for the Common Good

Emily Mitchell
Class of 2014

Posted October 03, 2013

Emily Mitchell (Mathematics and Sociology) first realized her passion for working with children as a high school student in Yarmouth, ME.

As a first year at Bowdoin, Emily took part in a community-based course, EDUC 203: Educating All Students with Professor Chuck Dorn, which placed her in a local kindergarten classroom for a semester. She spent time assisting the teacher and observing the students' interactions with their teachers and peers. Having enjoyed that experience, Emily decided as a sophomore to tutor elementary school students in math through a Mathematics Department volunteer opportunity at Brunswick's Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School.

As a junior, Emily participated in College Students for College, mentored a middle school girl through Fostering Female Leadership in Youth (FFLY), was a member of the Grant Committee of the Common Good Grant Program, and served as both a math tutor and site director for Let’s Get Ready, a free SAT prep program that additionally guides high school students through the college application process. She also led a Community Immersion Orientation Trip to Morris Farm in Wiscasset, ME, and participated in an Alternative Spring Break trip to Atlanta, GA where she worked with and learned about the successes and challenges of Georgia’s refugee community.

During her senior year, Emily led another Community Immersion Orientation Trip to learn about the Passamaquoddy community in Indian Township. She will return as a site director for Let’s Get Ready, and will serve as a McKeen Fellow for the Common Good Grant Program.

Spending time working in local schools has given Emily an appreciation of the various challenges facing Maine students, and notions of how to help overcome them. She has enjoyed serving for the common good in Southern Maine as a means of giving back to the community that has been such a formative part of who she is today. After graduating from Bowdoin next spring, Emily hopes to pursue a career as a high school math teacher.

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“My best learning experiences at Bowdoin have come from the personal connections and conversations I have had with such a wide range of people throughout Maine. It's amazing to realize the impact that I can have in someone else's life, or that they can have in mine.”