Student-Led Service Organizations
The Bowdoin Volunteer Corps (BVC) is an umbrella organization for Bowdoin student-led community service programs. The BVC is made up of twenty-eight student-led organizations that address a wide range of community needs. Each group works closely with local agencies, placing Bowdoin students in volunteer positions that meet those needs. Contact the student leaders for more information about how to get involved!
Bowdoin Volunteer Corps Groups
A program that matches Bowdoin students with children with physical and mental disabilities and their siblings to engage them with fun, entertaining activites. Meets weekly for games, snacks, swimming, and other activities. For more information, contact Ellery Maya-Altshuler '15, David Silverman '15, Hailey Wahl '16.
Bears and Cubs
Matches Bowdoin students with children waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister. Meets every other Sunday in the gym for afternoon activities. For more information, contact Rachel Henderson '15 and Josh Benton '15.
Works with local middle school students to develop art and writing skills through an interactive online blog. For more information, contact Holly Rudel '17, Heidy Morales '17, Elizabeth Snowdon '17.
Volunteers work one-on-one as tutors and mentors with ESL students at Coffin Elementary School, Harriet Beecher Stowe School, and Brunswick Junior High School. For more information, contact Stephanie Lane '15, Abaigail Mahoney '16, McKenzie Kessel '16.
Bowdoin Artist Activists
Students will collaborate on public art to raise awareness and spark discussion of socio-political issues, supporting the Bowdoin communtity to make change in the world. For more information, contact Mariah Reading '16.
Bowdoin Central Mentoring
Members mentor students in grades K-5 at Bowdoin Central School. For more information, contact Clare McLaughlin '15 and Kendra Novak '16 (Spring).
Bowdoin Hospice Collaboration
Students volunteer with seniors in a respite care setting, or with hospice patients, working alongside volunteers from CHANS Hospice, Mid Coast Hospital Spiritual Care, or Brunswick Area Respite Care. For more information, contact Rachel Gladstone '15, Rubi Duran '16, Caroline Corban '17.
Brunswick High School Mentoring
Students work one-on-one as mentors to high school students. For more information, contact Jesse Ortiz '16 (fall), John Branch '16 (spring), and Teresa Liu '15.
Volunteers receive training in tax preparation and financial resources and provide assistance to low- and middle-income individuals during tax season. For more information, contact Marco Zhaodong Li '16.
Coastal Humane Society
Students volunteer with the Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick. For more information, contact Mariana Guzman Marquez '16 and Madeline Davis '16 (fall).
Members provide educational support for prisoners through the U.S. Postal system. For more information, contact Kiran Pande '15, Emily Hochman '15, and Elizabeth Brown '15.
College Students for College
Provides support to high school students navigating the process of postsecondary planning. For more information, contact Lucy Knowlton '16.
Colleges Against Cancer
Promotes cancer awareness and advocacy on campus and raises funds for the American Cancer Society through the Relay for Life. For more information, contact Ursula Munger '15.
Members mentor students in grades K-5 at Bowdoinham Community School. For more information, contact Michelle Johnson '15 and DJ Flynn '15.
FFLY (Fostering Female Leadership in Youth)
Bowdoin women serve as mentors at Bath Middle School and Morse High School where they lead lessons and activities, organize field trips, and engage in one-on-one mentoring in order to folster female leadership, confidence, and community for young adolescent women. For more information, contact Adrienne Hanson '14, Oriana Farnham '15, Mariely Garcia '17, Monique Kelmenson '15, Lucy Knowlton '16 (fall), and Lela Garner '16 (spring).
Volunteers deliver unused food from the Dining Service to Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program. For more information, contact Katherine Bryan '17 and Quincy Leech '17.
Grassroot Soccer/"Lose the Shoes"
Raises money and awareness for Grassroot Soccer by hosting bake sales, pub nights, STI information and prevention efforts, and the "Lose the Shoes" 3v3 soccer tournament. For more information, contact Abby Einwag '15, Kaley Nelson '15, Kiefer Solarte '16, and Sam White '15.
Habitat for Humanity
The Bowdoin College Chapter of Habitat for Humanity partners with Habitat 7 Rivers to sponsor "build days," organize fundraisers, and promote awareness of affordable housing opportunities in Brunswick and the surrounding areas. For more information, contact Chrissy Rijiraorchai '17 and Lily Woodward '17.
Harpswell Community Mentoring
Members mentor students at Harpswell Community School through collaborative learning and recreational activity. For more information, contact Andrew Miller-Smith '15, Gina Stalica '16 (fall), and Madeleine Livingston '16.
Volunteers increase chemistry and science awareness and appreciation, providing demonstrations to local students of all ages. For more information, contact Julia Mead '16 and Ben West '16.
Let's Get Ready
Volunteers help expand college access for motivated, low-income high school students by providing free SAT pregaration and college admission counseling. For more information, contact Alex Barker '16, or Dhivya Singaram '16 or visit the Let's Get Ready website.
Mt. Ararat High School Mentoring
Students work one-on-one as mentors to high school students. For more information, contact Amanda Howard '15.
Mt. Ararat Middle School Bike Club
Volunteers teach Mount Ararat Middle School students safe and effective bicycling techniques and promote bicycling for fun and good health by joining weekly bike rides with the students. For more information, contact Adrienne Hanson '14.
Mt. Ararat Middle School Mentoring
Students work one-on-one as mentors to middle school students. For more information, contact Shannon Dominguez '15, Brandon Lee '15, Ted Romney '15.
Portland Adult Education
Volunteers assist with English literacy and job preparation programs for adults living in the Portland area. For more information, contact Juliet Eyraud '16, Tenzin Tsagong '16 (fall), and Sarah Levy '16 (spring) or visit the website for Portland Adult Education.
Portland Housing Authority Tutoring
Volunteers provide tutoring after school M-Th for low-income students in grades K-12 of mainly immigrant and refugee background. Volunteers commit to work once a week with students at one of Portland Housing Authority's study centers. For more information, contact Caitlin Greenwood '15, Sarah Frankl '16 (fall), Kristina Karlsson '17 (spring), Felice Chan '17 (spring).
Public Health Volunteers Club
Provides students with an interest in health careers exposure to public health issues in the Greater Brunswick area. For more information, contact DJ Flynn '15 and Priscilia Laforet '14.
Volunteers provide cheer and support for sick children and their families by preparing care packages and making visits to the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital. For more information, contact Mariely Garcia '17 and Perla Rubi '17.
Red Cross Blood Drives
Students organize, volunteer at the "canteen" and reception desk, and recruit donors for four campus-wide Red Cross blood drives per year. For more information, contact Quincy Koster '15, Maxwell Wolf '15, Gabi Serrato Marks '15, Wynne Leahy '16 (spring).
Volunteers mentor students at West Bath School through the arts. For more information, contact Cody Stack '16 (spring) and Frannie Gurzenda '16 (fall).
Students organize and recruit volunteers for the Special Olympics swim and track meet in the spring. For more information, contact Sarah Freeman '15.
Sunnybrook Village Volunteers
Volunteers spend time with the residents of the Sunnybrook Village retirement and assisted-living community. For more information, contact Ellery Maya-Altshuler '15 and Callie Ferguson '15.
Tedford Housing Volunteers
Volunteers help with general shelter needs at both the adult and family shelter (e.g. minor maintenance work, serving dinners) and organize special events (such as birthday/holiday parties and soccer tournaments for children living in the family shelter). For more information, contact Steven McClelland '16.
Volunteer Lawyers Project
Student volunteers work with the Volunteer Lawyers Project in Portland to provide legal options to low-income Maine residents, helping them to navigate the civil justice system. Responsibilities include conducting client intakes over the phone and meeting with the VLP staff to assess callers' legal needs. For more information, contact Bill De La Rosa '16 and Joseph Sherlock'16 or visit the Volunteer Lawyers Project website.
Each group in the Bowdoin Volunteer Corps is initiated and led by students. Generally, these leaders have previously been volunteers with the BVC group or community organization. Advised by the McKeen Center for the Common Good, group leaders take part in a leadership retreat at the beginning of the year to explore ways to more effectively run volunteer programs, manage student volunteers, and meet community needs. The BVC McKeen Fellows and McKeen Center staff also meet with organization leaders throughout the year to provide support in their work.
If you're interested in starting your own student-run service group or would like more information on the BVC, please contact the BVC McKeen Fellows Rachel Henderson '15 or Jesse Ortiz '16.