Advancing the Common Good
through Community Service at Bowdoin College

Emma Cooper-Mullin '07

Emma Cooper-Mullin

Emma Cooper-Mullin '07

Major: Government and Legal Studies (with a concentration in comparative politics) Minor in Economics
Hometown: Irvington, NY

Service activities:

  • Volunteer Lawyer’s Project ’03-’06, Leader ’06-’07

  • Alternative Spring Break Trip: HIV/AIDS and Homelessness in DC, ’05

  • Community Service Council ’06-’07

How did you first get involved in service at Bowdoin?
In the first couple weeks of freshman year, I noticed signs around campus recruiting volunteers for Volunteer Lawyer’s Project, a low-income legal services organization in Portland, ME. I thought that it would be a great way to get off campus and do something good for the greater community. I interviewed, received training and was off and running. It has been a truly wonderful service experience – or else I wouldn’t have stuck with it for four years!

What have you gained from your service experiences and working in the community?
I now realize that no matter how hard I work, I will always get more out of serving others than they ever get from me! I come away from my service activities humbled and in awe of both the people I assist and the professionals with whom I work. In addition, getting off campus and down to Portland each week has given me the opportunity to explore other places in Maine that I may never have discovered. It took me out of my comfort zone on multiple occasions and forced me to confront the realities of low-income families in the state I’ve called home for a few years.

What does it mean to serve the Common Good?
It means using whatever is at your disposal to make your community a healthier, more peaceful and supportive environment in which to live and work.

Story posted on September 25, 2006

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