Advancing the Common Good
through Community Service at Bowdoin College
Eric Batcho '05
Eric Batcho '05
Hometown: Wellesley, MA
Service Activities at Bowdoin
- Wednesday Afternoon Club at West Bath District Court
- Town of Brunswick Planning Office internship
- Service Learning Project for ES241, Principles of Land Use Planning
- Volunteer Lawyers Project
How did you first get involved in service at Bowdoin?
The summer of my sophomore year I interned for the District Attorney's
Office in Norfolk County, MA. When I returned to school in the fall I
contacted the Maine Court system about possible volunteer opportunities to
continue my work experience. I was referred to Judge Field at the District
Court in West Bath, who needed someone to help him organize a program called
Wednesday Afternoon Club. The program, which meets twice a month, is
designed to prevent teenagers involved with the court system from committing
repeat offenses. A team of juvenile caseworkers works closely with the
Judge to give each teenager emotional support, close supervision, and
appropriate counseling and educational services. It is the hope that these
services, coupled with more involvement from parents, will help the teenagers
transition to a normal life free of criminal activity. My involvement with
this program has been incredibly rewarding and has caused me to seek other
What have you learned from your service experiences and working in the community?
I've learned how fortunate I am to have loving parents who care about my future. So many of the teenagers I see at the courthouse are great kids with such potential, but a lack involvement from their parents allows them to form bad habits and associate with the wrong people. My service experience has also taught me the importance of patience. In dealing with any organization there is always a certain level of bureaucracy that gets in the way of the more important aspects of the work. Rather than fight these forces it is often best to do what is necessary with a half smile and focus your energy on the true content of the
What does it mean to serve the common good?
To me, serving the common good means putting the community's needs before
your own. Part of the Bowdoin experience is reaching out beyond the college
community to help those who are less fortunate.
Story posted on February 23, 2005
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