Advancing the Common Good
through Community Service at Bowdoin College

Brandon Bouchard '07

Brandon Bouchard '07

Brandon Bouchard '07

Major: Government and Legal Studies with a concentration in Comparative Politics
Hometown: Caribou, Maine

Service activities:

  • Common Good Grant Extension Committee, Co-Director '04-'05

  • Common Good Grant Extension Committee, Co-Director '06-'07

  • Caribou High School Music Building Fund, Creator/Chair, Spring '04-current

How did you first get involved in service at Bowdoin?
I came to be involved with service circuitously at Bowdoin. I entered my first year having been involved with a non-profit in my hometown and was working on a large mailing for the project. I stopped by the Community Service Resource Center (CSRC), where I met with the director, Susie Dorn, to see if they had discounted stamps that non-profits could receive. It turned out that they didnít. However, having met with Susie and witnessed the enthusiasm that she had for community service at Bowdoin, I immediately became interested in being involved with the CSRC. Under Susieís leadership the following year, Chris McCabe í05 and I created the Common Good Grant Extension Committee. Iíve been involved in community service at Bowdoin since, and continue to be in Northern Maine, as well.

What have you gained from your service experiences and working in the community?
I have come to understand that Iíve learned the most through interactions with fellow students, staff, faculty, and community members. I can come up with a number of ideas for new projects or methods to execute an existing project, but it is through interactions with people that these ideas best take shape and grow. Everyone has their own idea for how they can serve the common good, and everyone will provide something unique and beneficial to a project. Learning how to integrate a plethora of ideas and skills into one solid goal or one plan of action is a skill that I believe can be applied to almost any career field.

What does it mean to serve the Common Good?
For me, serving the common good means that one advantageously uses his or her natural and learned skills, experiences, and wisdom to benefit community. Whether community means a college campus, town, region of the state, or a larger entity, serving this idea directly and indirectly allows all of our lives to prosper. The brilliance behind serving the common good is that it can be advanced through a boundless spectrum of service. Anyone can significantly contribute to it, even with the smallest of acts. Anything from providing ideas during a meeting and photocopying for a small non-profit in Brunswick to helping raise $1 million for a childrenís center in New York City all serve the common good. Sharing and learning from the interactions and experiences of others and applying these skills to real life situations are where it can best thrive.

Story posted on October 13, 2006

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