Advancing the Common Good
through Community Service at Bowdoin College

Emily Keuthen '08

Emily Keuthen '08

Emily Keuthen '08

Major: Economics & Government
Hometown: Wellesley, MA

Service Activities:

  • Falcon Friends Mentor 2004-Present; Leader 2006-Present
  • Common Good Grant Committee 2005-2006
  • Community Immersion Pre-O Leader 2006, 2007
  • Bowdoin Student Government Community Service Representative 2006-2007
  • McKeen Fellow 2007-Present

How did you first get involved in service at Bowdoin?

I began mentoring through the Falcon Friends program at Bowdoinham Elementary School during my freshman year. As a freshman this immediate involvement in the Bowdoinham school allowed me to form a connection with Bowdoin's and Brunswick's broader community. My first day of mentoring, I was amazed at how excited the whole school was to see the Bowdoin mentors. Now, as a leader, I am continually asked by the students of the Bowdoinham Elementary School to bring more mentors to Bowdoinham. It is clear that the elementary school students love spending time with Bowdoin mentors, but I also find the service to be an extremely fun way for me to relax, to take a break from the everyday stresses of Bowdoin, and to practice my playground four-square skills.

What have you gained from your service experience and working in the community?

Being involved with service at Bowdoin has made me aware that there are many ways to serve a community. While I have enjoyed volunteering as a mentor, I have also had opportunities to serve through less direct means. I really enjoyed learning about philanthropy while on the Common Good Grant Committee. I found it very interesting to see the diverse demand for grant funding in the Midcoast community, as well as the strong impact of small grants for the recipient non-profit agencies. Additionally, at Bowdoin I have been able to see firsthand the broad positive effects of Bowdoin students serving the community. Consequently, I find that facilitating community service for other students as a Pre-O leader and a leader of Falcon Friends to be very rewarding.

What does it mean to serve the common good?

I believe that one can “serve the common good” by engaging in the community and using their abilities to begin to make the community a better place. I’ve come to realize that serving the common good may come in many forms. Depending on one’s interests and abilities, positive community involvement can be anything from philanthropy to activism to volunteering. In this way, everyone is capable of serving the common good and making the world a better place.

Story posted on February 04, 2008

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