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Fellowship Helps Students Connect with Community

The Charge: Colorado College students affirm the value of a liberal arts experience that broadens their horizons, deepens their insights, and develops their capacity to identify and pursue their passions. Through programming that helps connect “students’ learning experience across coursework, and across curricular and co-curricular experiences,” community-based learning helps students discern the intersections between their engaged experiences and their intellectual and moral development as college students. Such experiences bridge students’ college years and their post-CC lives and allow exploration in career pathways in public good fields.

What’s Happening:

Social integration. Sense of purpose. Dedicated peer group. A place to call “home.” Mentorship. A sense of belonging. Integrating academic work and personal interests. Access to education with opportunities to serve.

All are interrelated aspects of CC’s Community Engaged Fellows program, a new program in the Collaborative for Community Engagement that is part of CC’s strategic plan. It’s based on the Bonner Scholars model, an innovative program founded in 1990 by the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation designed for students with high financial need who have a demonstrated commitment to community engagement.

Colorado College started the program last year as a pilot program with five fellows, and this year was able to extend the offer of four-year service scholarships to 10 entering students who expressed financial need and an exceptional commitment to serving in the community. With this support, students who have high financial need can pursue their passions for service and civic engagement without being obligated to part-time jobs.

Asa Hussain ’21 was among the five fellows in the 2017-18 pilot program. “It’s an amazing program and support group,” says Hussain, who was drawn to the program because of the connection between financial aid and community service. He worked at Rocky Mountain Field Institute last year, then took that experience and applied it during the summer as the Collaborative for Community Engagement’s intern, working on programming and orientation for the first official class of Community Engaged Fellows, which started this fall.

The Community Engaged Fellows’ four-year commitment:

  • The first year is devoted to exploration, and allows the fellows to learn about the various organizations in the region, what to look for in a site, its organizational chart and staff, etc.
  • During the second year, fellows are asked to make a commitment and to volunteer five hours a week for a year.
  • During the third year, fellows continue volunteering while also becoming peer leaders in the program.
  • During the fourth year, they complete a capstone project that links their Community Engaged Fellow experience with their academic courses.

CC’s Community Engaged Scholars:
Ten scholars in first-year class (2022)
Nicole Chavarria ’22, Yajie Chen ’22, Daniel Cortés ’22, Dylan Hall ’22, Annika Koch ’22, Julieta Lechini ’22, Jasmine Linder ’22, Min Pan ’22, Maddie Ross ’22, Lonnell Schuler ’22

Five scholars in second-year class (2021)
Heba Shiban ’21, Reilly Williams ’21, Martrice Ellis ’21, Asa Hussain ’21, Samuel Vang ’21