Advancing the Common Good
through Community Service at Bowdoin College

Eliza Hutchinson '06

Eliza Hutchinson

Eliza Hutchinson '06

Major: Sociology; Minor: Environmental Studies
Hometown: Farmington, Michigan

Service Activities:

  • America Reads Tutoring (03-present)
  • Hospice volunteer with Hospice Volunteers of Midcoast Maine (03-present)
  • Community Service Council (03-present)
  • Bowdoin Book Buddies Tutoring (05-present)
  • Sociology Service Learning Project: Perceptions of Homelessness Survey for Tedford Shelter (Spring 05)
  • Volunteer at Camino Seguro/Safe Passage--educational project in poor area of Guatemala City (summer 05)
  • Board member of College Guild (Brunswick organization educating prisoners through the mail) (05-present)

How did you first get involved with Community Service at Bowdoin?
I was interested in community service upon arriving at Bowdoin after volunteering with hospice all through high school. I began volunteering with a few programs that I learned about at the Student Activities Fair, and soon after became aware of the Community Service Resource Center (CSRC). Throughout my time at Bowdoin I have participated in College Guild, a Brunswick organization educating prisoners through correspondence. Because of my connection with College Guild, I have served as a leader in the Community Service Council, a group of Bowdoin student leaders in community service through various service organizations. I subsequently learned about many opportunities through the CSRC, and additionally seeked out the local hospice in Brunswick independently to continue my interest in hospice care.

What have you gained from my service experiences and working in the community?
Many many things, but primarily I would say that volunteering has been a great means through which I can feel personally connected to the community that supports Bowdoin, which I think is extremely important--service helped me consistently leave the Bowdoin Bubble. Through volunteering, I feel less like a transient body at Bowdoin for 4 years but slightly more like a member of Brunswick.

What does it mean to serve the common good?
I think serving the common good can be broadly defined, but essentially it means making some positive impact on the community--contributing in some way to the cultivation of a collective life. It means to live actively with people instead of passively. Serving the common good can come in an infinite variety of forms.

Story posted on November 09, 2005

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