Advancing the Common Good
through Community Service at Bowdoin College

Whitney Walker '05

Whitney Walker

Whitney Walker '05

Major: Economics
Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Service Activities:

  • Baxter Buddy Tutoring, Co-Leader '03-05
  • Common Good Grant Committee '03-04
  • Adopt A Grandparent, '03-'04, Co-Leader '04-05
  • Community Service Council 03-05, Co-President '04-05
  • Bowdoin Americorps Program 04-05

How did you first get involved in service at Bowdoin?
When I transferred to Bowdoin during my junior year, I looked for ways to make a difference, become involved, and contribute to the community. I walked into the Community Service Resource Center and before I knew it, I was the new head of the Baxter Buddy Tutoring Program. The experience leading this group led to my involvement in the Community Service Council (CSC), where I learned about other volunteer opportunities (I now am part of adopt-a-grandparent) and better ways to lead my group. During a CSC meeting, I heard about the Common Good Grant Committee, applied to participate, and then sat on the committee to give $10,000 away to local non-profits with 11 other students. Through this program, I learned about grant writing and different service organizations in the area. Overall, Baxter Buddy Tutoring Program gave me the opportunity to become a leader on campus and contributed to my participation in many other service organizations and programs on campus.

What have you gained from your service experiences and working in the community?
First, I have learned that there is a type of service that everybody can enjoy. There are so many different types of service opportunities that I think people often overlook all their options. It is important to find something that you are passionate about in order to enjoy the service and feel that you made a difference at the end of the day. Second, I have learned that the greater Brunswick area can always use help. I believe there is a tendency to always think outside our own community when thinking about service. Here in Brunswick there is an abundance of opportunities to get involved. Finally, I have learned that service is one of the most rewarding experiences one can have in a lifetime.

What does it mean to serve the common good?
To serve for the common good means to serve the greater good of the community by making a difference. It means to live your life in a way that makes our community, our nation, and our world a better place to live.

Story posted on May 05, 2005

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