Campus News

Meet the YALP Coordinators for the Class of 2003

Story posted November 07, 2002

Bowdoin College initiated the Young Alumni Leadership Program (YALP) for seniors in 1998 to improve leadership among its younger alumni classes. Among the program's goals are to create a leadership structure before the senior class graduates to prepare its members to serve important College volunteer roles and maximize class communication, and to increase annual giving participation among the younger classes.

Early in a class's senior year, YALP committees are formed from among students who have volunteered for the program. The committees cover the key volunteer areas of Annual Giving; Class Relations and Communications; College Admissions and Alumni Interviewing (BASIC); and Career Programs.

Serving the important roles of development interns/YALP coordinators during 2002-03 are four outstanding Bowdoin seniors who each serves as co-chair for a particular committee.

Joanie Taylor of Reston, Va., is co-chair of the Annual Giving Committee. A history and French major, Taylor has served as a student representative to the investment committee and development and college relations committee of the Bowdoin Board of Trustees. She has served as a head tour guide for admissions, a history department representative, and business manager of The Bowdoin Orient student newspaper. She is also a member of the homecoming committee and plays rugby.

Patrick L. Vardaro of Norwood, Mass., is co-chair of the Class Relations and Communications Committee. Vardaro is a government major with a minor in economics. For two years he served as the student representative to the Board of Trustees budget and finance priorities committee, and is the College investment office intern. An athlete excelling in track and field, Vardaro is a three-time All New England Runner in outdoor track and indoor track, and he has served as captain of both Bowdoin teams for two years. He has also served as men's cross country captain, and was named All New England Runner in that sport as well. He holds the Bowdoin record for the indoor 5K and the outdoor 2-mile.

Megan E. Lim of Bethesda, Md., is co-chair of the College Admissions and Alumni Interviewing Committee. Lim, who is majoring in environmental studies and geology, has cultivated an interest in coastal oceanography and environmental conservation through her courses, research, summer experiences and instruction with the Sea Education Association. While at Bowdoin, she has been involved with the college house system, admissions, events and summer programs, and alumni relations, all of which has evolved into her interest in pursuing administrative work.

Nell D. Richmond is co-chair of the Career Programs Committee. Richmond, who is majoring in English and French, is a Boston native and a graduate of the American School in Japan. She is one of the leaders of BOCA, one of Bowdoin's co-ed a cappella groups. She is also co-coordinator of the admissions office's student volunteer organization. She spent the spring semester in Strasbourg, France, and last summer in Boston working at the Boston Language Institute.

Sharing committee chair responsibilities with the interns are Amanda Boer of Mt. Laurel, N.J., co-chair of the Annual Giving Committee; Daniel Flack of Bexley, Ohio, co-chair of the Class Relations and Communications Committee; Lindsey Steinmetz of West Simsbury, Conn., co-chair of the College Admissions and Alumni Interviewing Committee; and Steve Carpenter of Wellesley, Mass., co-chair of the Career Programs Committee.

About YALP
Through a series of meetings and other events with President Barry Mills, senior staff, trustees and alumni, YALP members learn about how Bowdoin operates and share thoughts about their Bowdoin experience.

YALP membership among the senior classes has increased steadily since that first group of 20 was formed just over five years ago, and now some 70 seniors are members of YALP, including 35 who form the YALP Core group and participate in the Committees.

Each year since YALP's inception the annual giving participation rate for the most recently graduated class has exceeded 40%. The first YALP class of 1998 had a 53% participation rate in its third year out.

Scores of seniors volunteer for BASIC (admissions and alumni interviewing) and BCAN (the career advisory network) before they graduate.

YALP works with senior class officers to host receptions and open houses for the entire senior class to strengthen class identity and to extend their energy and commitment to their classmates. Attendance at once-a-week events has consistently been strong.

YALP has received high marks from participating seniors. Students' connections to the College and among themselves in the year following graduation are noticeably greater than in the years before YALP.

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