Joseph McKeen
Center for the Common Good

Marble Karuu
Class of 2014

Posted April 08, 2014

From Mckinney, TX, Marble Karuu (Sociology/Spanish), was first introduced to service at Bowdoin through her Community Immersion Pre-Orientation trip. During her first few days in Maine, she found herself already connecting with the surrounding communities while working on issues of hunger and homelessness in Portland.

Marble's drive to continue engaging in service however came the summer after her first year. While working for a program in Portland called Let’s Get Ready, she had her first interaction with the immigrant populations in Maine. Her experience helping high school juniors and seniors prepare for the SAT, drew her to issues surrounding the large, young immigrant and refugee population that exists there. This experience led her to participate in an Alternative Winter Break trip that focused on learning more about immigrant and refugee issues and organizations. While working with ELL students at Lincoln Middle School and adult immigrants at Portland Adult Education, she gained an understanding of the challenges that English Language Learners, young and old, encounter by nature of being foreigners to this country.

In the spring of her sophomore year, Marble continued volunteering in Portland through a community based course in the Spanish department. She and her classmates volunteered at El Centro Latino where they engaged in language and cultural exchange with Latinos in the community who were interested in improving their English language skills. Additionally during this time, Marble participated in an Alternative Spring Break trip to Camden, New Jersey. While working with inner city youth, she discovered her particular interest in youth development. Combining this with her interest in working with international populations, she sought and received a Global Citizens Grant to travel to Kenya. There she worked with an organization that helps students prepare for the SAT and apply to colleges and universities here in the United States.

This year Marble is the McKeen Fellow for International Connections in Maine, helping other students at Bowdoin connect and work with the diverse populations in the area. She is also conducting an independent study focused on learning more about the Somali immigrant youth populations in Portland and Lewiston Maine.

Marble hopes to spend a year or two after graduation working with youth in vulnerable populations building on the work she began during her time at Bowdoin.

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“My cumulative experiences with service over the last three and a half years have significantly shaped my experience here at Bowdoin and informed my future career interests.”