There’s a lot more to college than time spent in a classroom. There are plenty of chances for you to meet new people, explore new cultures, and even give back to your community through civic engagement. Let us show you how.
First of all, what is civic engagement? Simply put, civic engagement is the act of making a positive impact on society. It’s giving back through volunteerism. It’s a promise to help your community by putting your skills and knowledge to work. It’s a principle that Westfield State has taken to heart with the Westfield Engages (WE) Initiative.
WE is an effort to strengthen and expand Westfield’s civic engagement and learning opportunities. The focus is to not only serve the community, but to also foster ideas and discussion on campus and within the student body. Students are given the chance to develop and plan their own events and programs; over 60,000 volunteer hours are reported each year. And the work goes beyond campus. There are over 5 international service-learning courses each year.
Watch how these student nurses used their skills to make a difference abroad.
Positive social change has to start at home. That’s why we encourage each student to take an active role in campus life and volunteering. There is literally an event or organization for every student. If you’re passionate about the environment, help out at the Connecticut River Source to Sea Cleanup or host a booth at the Campus Sustainability Day. The Alzheimer’s Walk and Annual Fresh Check Day are also looking for volunteers interested in supporting mental health awareness. You can find even more opportunities to give back to the Westfield State Campus and beyond, here.
Civic engagement and service learning can truly make a difference in your community. But they can also help you. Some internship programs involve elements of volunteerism like biology students cleaning up local parks or communication students providing marketing to charities. You can earn credit through interning, and it also looks good on your resume. Employers look for well-rounded candidates who are interested in going above and beyond. Civic engagement shows a commitment to your community but also to bettering yourself.
No matter what path you take at Westfield State, make sure you take the time to give back to the campus and community. The best way to learn about yourself is to reach out and help another.