AmyBoren is a junior at Purdue University North Central (PNC) and one of 135 students from accross the nation selected to be a Newman Civic Fellow. The Newman Civic Fellows Award recognize inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. Boren, of Chesterton, IN, is an Early Childhood Education major.
We asked Amy for her thoughts on service and why she does what she does.1. What does service mean to you?
To me, service is doing something freely in hopes that it will make a difference in the lives of other people, all the while expecting nothing in return. It is taking the time to help those who cannot help themselves or providing support for those who just need a little boost. It is also helping out individuals or groups of people who are trying to reach a common goal. Serving is becoming a part of something bigger than oneself and lending a helping hand to make it better.
2. Why do you serve?
I am very fortunate in that I have had a very blessed life. I feel in today’s world, there is a lot of emphasis put on money, career, and status. People can become self-absorbed and unwilling to help those in need. I feel serving helps keep me humble, informed about local issues, and a way for me to give back to the campus and community the many blessings I have received. I also serve because it allows me to meet new people and build relationships. I not only learn about them and their circumstances, but I also learn what I am capable of beyond my perceived limits. I serve because I want to make a difference and provide hope and encouragement for those who otherwise have little.
3. What service and leadership activities are you part of?
• President of PLAYCE (Purdue Learning About Young Children in Education). This is the Early Childhood Education club and we are volunteering at local schools and charitable organizations that provide services for young children.
• Peer Mentor – I am a peer mentor for incoming freshman at PNC; providing for them a ‘go to’ person to ask and answer questions and concerns that they may encounter, as well as encourage them and promote involvement in campus activities.
• Deans Leadership Group – I am a member of a group of students who provide activities for students on campus.
• Chancellor’s Leadership Seminar – I am attending weekly professional development classes that are building my knowledge base on how to be a better leader. Topics such as civility, service learning/civic engagement, ethics, and financial management have been discussed.
• Service Learning – I am currently in a class that is teaching Education majors how to instruct English Language Learning students. I have been working weekly with a kindergartener who has limited English ability at a local elementary school. This has allowed me to apply what I am learning in the classroom to real life situations.
• KIDS HOPE – I am a mentor for a local at-risk third grade student. I meet with him weekly to not only focus on school work but also to build a trusting relationship and build his self-esteem.
4. What have you found to be the greatest benefit of service?
The greatest benefit of serving has been the life changing lessons I’ve received from helping individuals, the community, and campus. It has taught me to put others first, to find ways to help those in need (no matter how small), and to realize that we are all the same no matter what our circumstances. All it takes is a small amount of time to show someone that you care and make a difference in their life.