Joseph McKeen
Center for the Common Good

La'Shaye Ervin
Class of 2012

Posted October 10, 2012

La'Shaye Ervin (Biology & Africana Studies/English) got involved in community service rather late in her Bowdoin career. In fact, it wasn't until her junior year, when she applied to go on an Alternative Spring Break trip, that La'Shaye began making time for service.

La'Shaye spent her first two years at Bowdoin focusing on school and other extra-circulars, but knew that she wasn't as fulfilled as she was in high school in Brooklyn, NY. The difference was service.

After her ASB trip to South Dakota to learn about the unique housing and legal issues of Native American populations by participating in direct service and advocacy at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, La'Shaye was a tutor over the summer for Let's Get Ready - prepping for the SAT with students who were struggling and passing on the tricks that had been given to her in a similar program.  As a senior she led an ASB trip to New Orleans to work with Operation Nehemiah addressing environmental and social issues related to community building through green projects in Post Katrina neighborhoods and she became a mentor to a Bowdoin Science Experience student in her lab, spreading her passion for the sciences and help instill confidence in his scientific ability.

After graduating last May La'Shaye relocated to Salt Lake City, UT to work in the Urban Ecology Research Lab at the University of Utah.

"I never used to question why I did service.  I thought that it was just something that you were supposed to do. Then I started to not feel connected to people during my service trips, because my heart was not really in it. That's when I decided that I would do things that I was passionate about." 

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