Student-Led Service Organizations
The Bowdoin Volunteer Corps (BVC) is an umbrella organization for Bowdoin student-led community service programs. The BVC is made up of twenty-eight student-led organizations that address a wide range of community needs. Each group works closely with local agencies, placing Bowdoin students in volunteer positions that meet those needs. Contact the student leaders for more information about how to get involved!
Several academic departments also lead school-based programs for students. Information on these opportunities can be found below.
Bowdoin Volunteer Corps Groups
A program that matches Bowdoin students with children with physical and mental disabilities and their siblings to engage them with fun, entertaining activites. Meets weekly for games, snacks, swimming, and other activities. For more information, contact Audrey Leland '18, Miranda Dils '19, Marina Stam '19, and Kay Torrey '19.
Bears Against Cancer
Promotes cancer awareness and advocacy on campus and raises funds for the American Cancer Society through the Relay for Life.
Bears and Cubs
Matches Bowdoin students with children waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister. Meets every other Sunday in the gym for afternoon activities. For more information, contact Julie Randolph '17 and Jack Weiss '17.
Bite for the Better Project
Teaches clients of MCHPP healthy recipes and gives them ingredients to recreate the dishes afterwards.
Works with local middle school students to develop art and writing skills through an interactive online blog. For more information, contact Holly Rudel '17 and Liz Snowdon '17.
Bowdoin Outdoor Volunteer Association organizes volunteers to do environmental stewardship projects in the Midcoast area.
Volunteers work one-on-one as tutors and mentors with ESL students at Coffin Elementary School, Harriet Beecher Stowe School, and Brunswick Junior High School. For more information, contact Ryan Herman '17 and Julia Amstutz '19.
Bowdoin Central Mentoring
Members mentor students in grades K-5 at Bowdoin Central School. For more information, contact Helen Gandler '17 and Rachel Kupferman '17.
Bowdoin Hospice Collaboration
Students volunteer with seniors in a respite care setting, or with hospice patients, working alongside volunteers from CHANS Hospice, Mid Coast Hospital Spiritual Care, or Brunswick Area Respite Care. For more information, contact Caroline Corban '17.
Bowdoin Public Health Club
Provides students with an interest in health careers exposure to public health issues in the Greater Brunswick area. For more information, contact Lauren Nguyen '17, Meredith Sleeper '17, Jeremy Chimene-Weiss '18, and Meredith Stanhope '18.
Brunswick High School Mentoring
Students work one-on-one as mentors to high school students. For more information, contact Ama Gyamera '17 and Penelope Lusk '17.
Volunteers receive training in tax preparation and financial resources and provide assistance to low- and middle-income individuals during tax season. For more information, contact Vera Feng '18 and Gerlin Leu '19.
Creating Compassionate Leadership in Maine Boys organizes Bowdoin men to serve as mentors in Bath Middle School where they lead lessons and activities, organize field trips, and engage in one-on-one mentoring in order to foster male leadership, confidence, and community for young adolescent men.
Coastal Humane Society
Students volunteer with the Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick. For more information, contact Rose Etzel '19.
Members provide educational support for prisoners through the U.S. Postal system. For more information, contact Leaf Ma '18, Teddy Murphy '18, Charlotte Borden '19, Heather Gans '19, and Monica Xing '19.
College Students for College
Provides support to high school students navigating the process of postsecondary planning. For more information, contact Kristin Bishop '18 and Stephanie Intal '18.
Fundraising event for Children's Miracle Network that consists of a multi-hour marathon of games, dancing, and more.
Members mentor students in grades K-5 at Bowdoinham Community School. For more information, contact Meredith Sleeper '17 and Tyler Cox '17
FFLY (Fostering Female Leadership in Youth)
Bowdoin women serve as mentors at Bath Middle School and Morse High School where they lead lessons and activities, organize field trips, and engage in one-on-one mentoring in order to folster female leadership, confidence, and community for young adolescent women. For more information about the high school group (FFLY High), contact Olivia Bean '17, Mariely Garcia '17, and Kate Powers '17. For the middle school, contact Jodi Kraushar '17, Katie Ragsdale '18, and Marina Henke '19.
Volunteers deliver unused food from the Dining Service to Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program. For more information, contact Quincy Leech '17.
Girls Who Code
Bowdoin women teach basic coding skills to girls at Brunswick High School to help close the gender gap in technology.
Habitat for Humanity
The Bowdoin College Chapter of Habitat for Humanity partners with Habitat 7 Rivers to sponsor "build days," organize fundraisers, and promote awareness of affordable housing opportunities in Brunswick and the surrounding areas. For more information, contact Eric Link '17 and Chrissy Rujiraorchai '17.
Harpswell Community School Mentoring
Members mentor students at Harpswell Community School through collaborative learning and recreational activity. For more information, contact Evan Baughman '17.
Let's Get Ready
Volunteers help expand college access for motivated, low-income high school students by providing free SAT pregaration and college admission counseling. For more information, contact Kara Lopez-Legowski '18 and Maya McCabe '18, or visit the Let's Get Ready website.
Maine College Circle
Bowdoin volunteers promote post high school aspirations in rural Maine communities.
Students work one-on-one as mentors to Mt. Ararat High School students. For more information, contact Joyce Kim '18 and Bill Zhou '19.
Students work one-on-one as mentors to Mt. Ararat Middle School students. For more information, contact Drew Anderson '17 and Jesse Weiss '17.
Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program Volunteers
Students work in Brunswick's local food bank and soup kitchen (serving meals, assisting clients, sorting donations, etc), volunteering on either a regular or as-needed basis, in cooperation with MCHPP's volunteer base. For more information, contact Ryan Herman '17 or Aliya Feroe '17.
Portland Adult Education
Volunteers assist with English literacy and job preparation programs for adults living in the Portland area. For more information, contact Juliet Eyraud '16, Son Ngo '17, and Jessica Piper '19, or visit the website for Portland Adult Education.
Portland Housing Authority Tutoring
Volunteers provide tutoring after school M-Th for low-income students in grades K-12 of mainly immigrant and refugee background. Volunteers commit to work once a week with students at one of Portland Housing Authority's study centers. For more information, contact Theodore Christian '19 and Sam Kenney '19.
Red Cross Blood Drives
Students organize, volunteer at the "canteen" and reception desk, and recruit donors for four campus-wide Red Cross blood drives per year. For more information, contact Drew Anderson '17 and Hannah Berman '18.
Bowdoin volunteers promote STEM education for youth in schools and libraries.
Volunteers mentor students at West Bath School through the arts. For more information, contact Hannah Rafkin '17.
Volunteers spend time with the residents of the Sunnybrook Village retirement and assisted-living community. For more information, contact Caroline Corban '17, Evan Montilla '17, Miranda Dils '19, and Ellie Heywood '19.
Tedford Housing Volunteers
Volunteers help with general shelter needs at both the adult and family shelter (e.g. minor maintenance work, serving dinners) and organize special events (such as birthday/holiday parties and soccer tournaments for children living in the family shelter). For more information, contact Marina Bryant '18.
Volunteers mentor students at Bath Middle School utilizing outdoor education to develop soft skills.
Volunteer Lawyers Project
Student volunteers work with the Volunteer Lawyers Project in Portland to provide legal options to low-income Maine residents, helping them to navigate the civil justice system. Responsibilities include conducting client intakes over the phone and meeting with the VLP staff to assess callers' legal needs. For more information, visit the Volunteer Lawyers Project website.
Each group in the Bowdoin Volunteer Corps is initiated and led by students. Generally, these leaders have previously been volunteers with the BVC group or community organization. Advised by the McKeen Center for the Common Good, group leaders take part in a leadership retreat at the beginning of the year to explore ways to more effectively run volunteer programs, manage student volunteers, and meet community needs. The BVC McKeen Fellows and McKeen Center staff also meet with organization leaders throughout the year to provide support in their work.
If you're interested in starting your own student-run service group or would like more information on the BVC, please contact the BVC McKeen Fellows Chrissy Rujiraorchai '17 and Meredith Sleeper '17.
Kamerling Science Service Club
Volunteers increase chemistry and science awareness and appreciation, providing demonstrations to local students of all ages. For more information, contact Patrick Walsh '17 and Dennis Zambrano '17.
The Bowdoin Math Volunteers Program
The Bowdoin Math Volunteers program places volunteers at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School to assist teachers in grades two through five during math lessons. All students are invited to participate, and most volunteer once or twice a week for an hour each time. Interested students should contact Prof. Jennifer Taback with questions.
Nihongo Oshietai (Japanese Team Teaching)
Bowdoin Japanese language students teach a weekly Japanese language after school program at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School. A mix of experienced student teachers and new Japanese language students teach basic Japanese language using games, songs and other activities. Students meet weekly to discuss curriculum and prepare classroom materials. Contact Prof. Aridome if interested.