Anna Fauver '20 (History) worked in Portland, ME with The Mitchell Institute. Founded by Senator George Mitchell, MI gives a college scholarship to one high school student from every public high school in Maine. They not only provide various means of financial support to their Scholars, but also provides personal support and leadership training to ensure success in college and beyond. Anna helped in these endeavors by planning annual events for Scholars such as MILE III, the Welcome Brunch and the Camp Susan Curtis Visit, as well as assisting with research projects such as the Incoming Scholar Profile and yearly board updates.
"Working at the Mitchell Institute has not only allowed me to gain a deep appreciation for the inner-workings of a non-profit, but also for the state of Maine itself. Learning about Scholars through research and personal accounts has taught me about the diversity of backgrounds in Maine and the importance of education. It is beyond inspiring to see how much of an impact the MI’s financial and personal assistance has on Scholars’ educational careers and personal development."
Eskedar Girmash '20 (Africana Studies) worked with the Oasis Free Clinics executive director, Anita Ruff, on projects related to nonprofit management and community outreach. One of her projects focused on improving the clinic’s volunteer program. She developed a volunteer handbook, volunteer newsletter, and a volunteer appreciation station. For the communications portion of her fellowship, Eskedar developed an informational packet for new patients, posters for patient outreach, managed Oasis’s website and social media, wrote newsletters and articles for the Times Record, and worked on a video for the Clinic.
"My time at Oasis Free Clinics has been incredibly inspiring, motivating, and valuable. I’ve learned about the intersectional issues that affect our community members’ health such as poverty, lack of insurance, and illiteracy. I have engaged with the many intricacies of nonprofit management and community outreach. This has been one of the most influential experiences I’ve had as I think about a future career in public health."
Charlotte Hall '20 (Mathematics and Psychology) worked in Brunswick, ME at Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, a non-profit focused on addressing food insecurity in the Mid Coast area. She worked with all the programs at MCHPP through completing projects for program supervisors such as updating a resource guide, evaluating and transferring donor data, and creating a timeline for MCHPP's 35th anniversary. Throughout the summer, Charlotte helped coordinate the Summer Food Service Program and participated in it through being a site supervisor at Curtis Memorial Library.
"My summer at MCHPP has completely changed my understanding of Brunswick, Bowdoin College, and my place in the community. I truly feel like a member of the Brunswick community through learning about food insecurity and the area from the wonderful staff, volunteers, and clients at MCHPP. Hunger is such a critical but often hidden issue, and the people at MCHPP work tremendously hard to address it everyday. I cannot wait to continue to volunteer there throughout the rest of my time at Bowdoin."
Joe Hilleary '20 (Mathematics) served as the George T. Davidson Maine Community Fellow at the Portland Housing Authority. He divided his time between two aspects of the Residence Services department at PHA, spending half of his time working with the CHEETA Project youth leadership and community service program in the public housing communities, and the other half supporting the emPOWERme family stabilization and financial empowerment initiative. During his experience, Joe helped write a grant, partnered with another Maine Community Fellow at ProspertyME to developed a youth-oriented financial literacy curriculum, served summer lunches in the Kennedy Park neighborhood, and created a action plan to increase resident enrollment in emPOWERme.
"Working at the PHA has been an amazing opportunity to learn not just about this organization, but about the whole network of inter-linked service providers serving the low-income population of Cumberland County. I've had the chance to see firsthand how data can be used to increase accountability and improve outcomes, while also being able to engage in direct service through volunteering in neighborhood study centers."
Elise Moreno '19 (Government & Legal Studies and Latin American Studies) At the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project , Elise met one on one with clients to file applications with U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services. As Maine’s only statewide legal aid agency dedicated to providing assistance to low-income immigrants, ILAP helps Maine’s immigrants keep their families together, gain protection from persecution, attain residency and work authorization, and become proud U.S citizens. Elise served as an interpreter for Spanish speaking clients and translated ProSe materials into Spanish.
"Working in ILAP’s ProSe clinic provided me with in-depth insight into how ever-changing federal, state, and local policies directly impact migrant and immigrant communities both in Maine and around the country. It was particularly interesting to see the interaction between government, social service agencies, non-profits, and legal aid organizations all working in the realm of immigration."
Emily Olick Llano '20 (undeclared) As the Merrymeeting Food Council Gleaners Fellow, Emily coordinated and attended weekly volunteer-run gleaning trips. These trips entailed visiting farms that the Gleaners partner with, harvesting excess produce, delivering the produce to recipient organizations, and logging the produce gleaned by quantity and type. Emily also spent the summer working on a project to increase education about the produce that the gleaners deliver to their recipient organizations. She compiled recipes and instructions for identifying, preserving, re-growing, and storing produce, by type, to each of the 31 recipient organizations. This booklet helped increase the accessibility and utility of the food the Merrymeeting Gleaners redistribute. gleaning.
"Working with the Merrymeeting Gleaners has drastically increased my understanding of Maine’s food system, my familiarity with the residents of the Merrymeeting Bay area, and my exposure to the issue of food insecurity within local communities. I feel really grateful to be a part of such a feasible, accessible project that supports the local food system while addressing both food insecurity and food waste in Maine."
Annie Rose '20 (Education and Psychology) worked in Brunswick with Tedford Housing, a local organization that partners with people and their communities to create pathways from homelessness to home in the Midcoast region. Focusing on volunteer placement and management, Annie interviewed staff members and case managers to identify their volunteer needs and appropriately consider new opportunities for volunteer engagement. Working alongside the Director of Development, Annie accordingly designed a new organizational framework to better facilitate consistent participation and communication among Tedford volunteers.
"At Tedford, when action meets compassion, change happens. Everyday, when Tedford works with people either experiencing homelessness, at risk, or striving to maintain stability after having emerged from homelessness, progress towards ending homelessness is made. During my time with Tedford, I witnessed the shared dedication and interconnectedness of local agencies working together to improve the lives of neighbors in need of a hand-up, all-the-while instilling lasting hope for tomorrow. I’ve been given a new understanding of community, and I am excited to return to Bowdoin with a renewed sense of belonging and commitment to Brunswick."
Nick Sarni '20 (Economics) worked with ArtVan this summer. Founded in 2004, ArtVan is a mobile arts therapy organization located in Brunswick that seeks to serve underprivileged and disadvantaged communities and youth having little or no arts access. Art therapy allows participants to share an experience with others and themselves, through the expression of artistic mediums, allowing one to channel feelings, transform ideas, develop creative solutions to problems, build self-confidence, and adjust to unfamiliar circumstances. The art making process, implemented by ArtVan, fosters a peer to peer interactional opportunity for healthy relationship building while allowing individuals to interpret the world around them in their own unique way.
"As soon as the kids arrive, it is impossible to hold back a smile. To see them so anxious to learn, engage, and have fun while expressing themselves creatively through art is truly rewarding. My memory is filled with moments where I have connected with the personal fulfillment of these young minds. Being able to gain a deeper understanding of the management and operational responsibilities of a non-profit organization will also contribute to my future civic endeavors."