Pamela Arsenault of Danvers has been named North Shore Community College’s Newman Civic Fellow for 2014. The prestigious national award is bestowed annually to promising student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in their community. Through service, research, and advocacy, Newman Civic Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.
An immigrant of Chile, Pamela began her education in the USA taking ESL classes. She is studying to be a Human Services Practitioner at NSCC and is on track to complete her associate degree. She plans to continue her education by getting a bachelor’s degree in social services and a masters in either gerontology or mental health.
Pamela is in the Honors Program at NSCC and she has been named to the Dean’s List every semester. Pamela has put in over 500 hours of service-learning over the past two years. Some of these hours were spent at the Peabody Council on Aging where she initiated a plan to survey over 100 seniors to determine whether their needs were being met at this center. Additionally, she is taking the lead with immigrants in the Cape Ann area by creating profiles for each client who seeks services through Project Adult Basic Education (ABE), so that she can help to meet their long-term and short-term goals.
Pamela’s leadership with Project Uplift, an organization that provides relief for families who are struggling, included putting in over 100 hours planning and executing a toy drive that served over 700 children for each of two consecutive years. She supervised and motivated volunteers, distributed donation boxes, set up tables, sorted toys, and filled gift bags for clients. Beyond these duties, Pamela provided the personal touch to her service to needy families, getting to know them and helping to make their individual dreams come true. Through all her work she has inspired others and been a leader in creating long term improvements in the lives of the elderly and immigrants she has served.
Pamela has won numerous awards and scholarships for her community efforts. She received the Cummings Foundation Scholarship as a result of the over 80 hours of service-learning she completed. She won the Cheryl Finkelstein Award for Outstanding Community Service and was the recipient of a Foundation Scholarship due to both her academic and service accomplishments.
“Pamela has a rare level of commitment to the community. She strives to create opportunities for those that are disadvantaged. At the same time she seeks to better equip herself to serve others by pursuing her educational goals,” said Cate Kaluzny, coordinator of NSCC’s Service Learning program.
Pamela states, “Making a difference in people’s lives and inspiring others to do so is my mission, and something I put my heart and soul into. I work with immigrants, the elderly, and struggling families because I want others to believe what I have learned – that anything is possible when you give yourself the opportunity to dream.”
“The Newman Civic Fellows represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders and serve as stellar examples of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building a better world,” notes Campus Compact President Maureen Curley. “Through service-learning courses and other opportunities for community engagement, colleges are developing students’ public problem-solving skills, such as the ability to analyze community needs, the willingness to participate in public processes and debate, the commitment to raise awareness about challenges, and the ability to inspire others to become part of solutions. With this recognition, Campus Compact is highlighting the remarkable impact these students are having on their campuses and communities.”
Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. For more information about the organization and the award, visit http://www.compact.org.