Advancing the Common Good
through Community Service at Bowdoin College

Nellie Connolly '08

Nellie Connolly '08

Nellie Connolly '08

Major: History
Minor: Art History
Hometown:Wayzata, MN

Service Activities:

  • Alternative Spring Break Participant: Volunteering in Bronx public schools - Spring 2005
  • Bowdoin AmeriCorps Program - Fall 2005 to Spring 2006
  • Head of Book Buddies, an ESL tutoring program at Coffin Elementary School - Spring 2005 to Present
  • Alternative Spring Break Leader: Building houses with Habitat for Humanity in Pontotoc, MS - Spring 2006
  • Marine Geology 103 Service Learning Course - Fall 2007
  • Alternative Spring Break Leader: Working with Sudanese refugees at The Lost Boys Center in Phoenix, AZ - Spring 2008
  • Blood Drive Volunteer
  • Relay for Life Participant

How did you first get involved in service at Bowdoin?

Throughout high school, I was very active in my community. I spent a summer volunteering for Senator Paul Wellstone, participated in many Habitat for Humanity builds, and taught Sunday school at my church for three years. Coming to Bowdoin I knew I wanted to make service part of my weekly routine. During my freshman year, I was involved with Bear Buddies, selling pumpkins at St. Mark’s church to raise money for Habitat for Humanity, volunteering at the Blood Drive, and Common Good Day.

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

By volunteering weekly at Coffin Elementary School, I have gotten to know teachers, students, and administrators who live in Brunswick. As such, I feel very connected to Brunswick and the issues that the community faces.

What does it mean to serve the common good?

Returning from an Alternative Spring Break trip to New York City in my freshmen year, I began to think more carefully about “serving the common good”—a value deeply engrained in the culture at Bowdoin. Traveling from Bowdoin to a really tough kindergarten classroom in the Bronx was eye opening. The experience made me evaluate my life and deepened my desire to help others. For me, serving the common good is a life long commitment and I am excited about offering support to those in need in my community.

Story posted on April 07, 2008

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