Profiles in Giving
For 15 senior Tisch Scholars, a recent trip to Treasure Beach, Jamaica, served as part of the culmination of their four years in the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service Scholars program. Senior scholars volunteered 10 days of their winter break learning firsthand about social responsibility, sustainable development, and empowerment through education—the community's and their own.
Mindy Nierenberg, Tisch College senior program manager, says, "In their first year, scholars take a course called Education for Active Citizenship, which lays the foundation for engaging responsibly in new communities." From there, scholars work individually on civic engagement projects in Tufts' local host communities, and finally—in the newest component of the program—travel abroad to gain a common international perspective on active citizenship.
In the Field
"What's amazing is that some scholars are first-generation college students, or students who would never have been able to afford something like this," says Nierenberg. "Funds from Tisch College equalize access and provide students with an opportunity that is truly transformational. They come back to local projects and view them in a larger context—this is a very powerful experience, especially for those who don’t have the means to study abroad."
The service trip was organized in partnership with Breds Treasure Beach Foundation, a grassroots organization led by a cross-section of Treasure Beach community leaders. Adam Evans, A11, had the opportunity to work one-on-one with special needs students. "What was really interesting and a little bit scary was that we were put right into positions of great responsibility," says Evans. "The difference from sitting in a class and reading about issues in a textbook is witnessing the challenges these children face. Even more important than my learning experience is the fact that we were then able to document their needs and get services for those children, which would never have happened otherwise. I consider this experience to be one of the most important things I've done at Tufts, and one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done—it has changed the way I view myself, service, and education as a whole."