Advancing the Common Good
through Community Service at Bowdoin College

Colin Doyle '06

Colin Doyle

Colin Doyle '06

Major: Latin American Studies
Hometown: Carlisle, MA

Service Activities:

  • Alternative Spring Break, Lima, Perú
    (Participant 2004-2006)
    (Leader, 2005)
  • Solidaridad En Marcha, Lima, Perú
    Policlinico La Sagrada Familia
    (Medical volunteer and outreach worker, Summers 2004-2005, Winter 2005)
    Armonizar center for children with cleft lip and cleft palate
    (Teaching assistant and translator, Summer 2004)
    La Alegría en el Señor School for disabled children
    (Volunteer, Summer 2004)
  • Pre Head Start, Portland, ME
    (Interpreter, Fall 2002)
  • Portland Housing Authority Study Center, Portland, ME
    (Volunteer Tutor Fall 2002- Fall 2003)
  • OASIS Free Clinic, Brunswick, ME
    (Patient Interviewer/Screener, Fall 2005-Spring 2006)
  • Brunswick-Trinidad Sister City Organization
    (Board Member, 2006)

How did you first get involved in service at Bowdoin?
My first experience with service at Bowdoin was through the tutoring program with the Portland Housing Authority freshman year. I feel that we really created relationships with the kids that came to the learning center and also with each other. It was also helpful to learn about other realities that people live right here in Maine.

What have you gained from your service experiences and working in the community?
My experiences of service while at Bowdoin have been by far the most formative and influential of my college career, especially those through the ASB Perú Trip. Through service, I have gained a sense of purpose and a focus to my life. My experiences have helped me realize what truly makes me happy and I have been able to reorder my priorities based on this new self-knowledge. My experience leading the Alternative Spring Break Trip to Peru in 2005 was particularly touching because I was able to share this treasure that I have found in service with my classmates. I was really struck by the personal changes in both members of the Bowdoin group and also members of the community with whom we were working.

What does it mean to serve the common good?
To me, serving the common good means breaking away from the messages of individualism that are omnipresent in our society and recognizing the worth of the human person. Through all of my experiences, I have learned that service is really just about connecting with people and forming relationships based on brotherly love. As simple and as natural to the human condition as this may seem, we are increasingly persuaded to become inwardly focused, numb and isolated so that the concept of genuine human relationships has become a radical one. For me, serving the common good is about rejecting these messages and bringing hope to others and myself that love still exists.

Story posted on March 26, 2006

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