Joseph McKeen
Center for the Common Good

Alexandra Alvarez
Class of 2013

Posted November 01, 2012

Alexandra Alvarez (Sociology) from Park Ridge, IL first became involved in community engagement at Bowdoin her freshmen year when she participated in Common Good Day. She followed through on her love for working with children and began volunteering with Book Buddies, a club that sends Bowdoin students to tutor elementary-aged ESL students in an after school program.

In Alexandra's sophomore year she led a Weekend Service Trip to Community Financial Literacy in Portland, an organization that supports immigrants and refugees by helping them make sound money management decisions through classes, workshops and one-on-one counseling.  And she became a tutor a small elementary school in Harpswell with the America Reads and Counts program.  Working in schools inspired Alexandra to pursue her interests in the field of education through an internship with an education public policy advocacy in Illinois.

Studying abroad in Santiago, Chile Alexandra volunteered in a home for children with cancer and other serious illnesses. Her volunteer and community service experiences up to this point focused her interest in public policy and she applied and received a fellowship through the Community Matters in Maine Summer Fellowship for the summer of 2012 with the Maine Center for Economic Policy in Augusta. This fall Alexandra led a Community Immersion Orientation trip to Lubec, Maine.

"I have seen the close relationship between policy and fundamental change in a community. I admire those non-profit organizations that help in community matters and push for better quality of life through advocating for effective policies.  I am considering pursuing post-Bowdoin opportunities in the public sector, especially involving public education."

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“Community engagement reconnects me with the world. It reminds me to look and think beyond myself.”