Posted January 29, 2014
Originally from Dalian, China, June Guo (Sociology/Education Studies) now calls Bethlehem, PA home. She was introduced to service at Bowdoin during her first year through an Alternative Winter Break trip focused on issues of Immigrant and Refugee Education in Portland, ME. During the trip, participants shadowed student ambassadors at Lyman Moore Middle School, helped edit grant applications at Community Financial Literacy, helped students with afterschool work at Portland Housing Authority's Study Center, and assisted teachers at Portland Adult Education. This trip introduced June to Portland's diverse population and its vast variety of nonprofit organizations.
Her interest fueled, June applied for and received a Preston Public Interest Career Fund grant to fund a summer internship with Cultivating Community, a non-profit in Portland dedicated to promoting sustainable agriculture, fostering youth leadership, and providing farmer training. She helped lead the organization’s Youth Growers program and was able to experience the labor and reward involved in growing organic fruits and vegetables for one's own consumption and for distribution to senior citizens in the area.
During her freshman year, June also participated in an Alternative Spring Break trip, Lessons from the Passamaquoddy, in Pleasant Point, ME. Participants were teaching assistants in classrooms at Beatrice Rafferty, a K-8 public school located on this Native American reservation. This experience was particularly moving for June as she was able to see bonds form between the Bowdoin students and the Beatrice Rafferty students and teachers as mutual understanding grew. For June, a powerful aspect of Alternative Breaks is seeing her fellow participants incorporate what they’ve learned into their academic and service life at Bowdoin. Her participation in these programs has opened her mind to issues that have become very important to her.
In addition to participation in Alternative Break programs, June has been a mentor through Bowdoin’s Falcon Friends and Bear Buddies. Before the start of her sophomore year, she led a Community Immersion Orientation trip to Morris Farm in Wiscasset, Maine.
Currently June tutors Mandarin and English and is a Baldwin academic skills mentor. She enjoys playing Bingo regularly at Thorton Hall, a retirement community in Brunswick with a group of Bowdoin students.
Earlier this month, June led the same Alternative Winter Break trip that sparked her interest in working with education: Immigrant and Refugee Education in Portland, ME.
“Service is not only about being physically and mentally present to help; it involves open-mindedness, understanding, and faith in sharing God's love.”