Reflecting on Winter Fellowships

6 February 2019

During summer and winter breaks, the CCCE is proud to offer community engaged fellowships in which students join partner organizations as short-term team members. Thanks to our generous donors, we are able to make these valuable experiences available to students regardless of their family financial circumstances by providing living stipends.

This winter break, eight students participated in five different fellowships addressing community identified needs. Two students stayed in the area to work for the Northfield TORCH and Faribault CAST programs. These fellowships extend the coverage of regular CCCE programming over break, addressing the unique calendar gap that emerges between Carleton and the Northfield public schools in the month of December. Alexis Shuck ’21 spoke positively of the experience.

“This fellowship enhanced my leadership and communication skills and has taught me how to work in teams and prioritize my tasks in order to effectively carry out a project,” said Shuck, recounting all of the things she learned by working with the community. Beyond skill building, Shuck reflected that the most important thing she learned was “the value of working with and participating in community,” expressing interest in being a part of similar programs in the future.

Outside of Northfield, a cohort of three students traveled to Miami to work for the Miami Girls’ Foundation and created a booth related to labor trafficking at Miami’s premier art show, Art Basel. Hibo Abdi ’20 described the challenges of political activism at an event that caters to a politically diverse art community mostly interested in art at the surface level. “I had to cater to audiences that did not want to hear what I had to say,” said Abdi, and “had to learn how to rework what I needed to say so that it could reach different audiences, broadening my message to appeal to more people.”

As an art history and political science double major, she described how the fellowship gave her “the unique opportunity to combine the two and bring them together,” pushing her to acknowledge her passion for art history and consider how it could play into her future career. According to Abdi, engaging with a community other than Northfield and Faribault allowed her to apply teachings and readings from academic civic engagement courses at Carleton in a new context, practicing cultural competency, bridging diversity, and public speaking skills.

Other fellowships included a recurring partnership with the Northfield Link Center’s Growing Up Healthy program, support for the off campus study program in Cameroon, and assessment and evaluation processing for academic civic engagement courses. All of these fellowships allow students to continue community engagement outside of the academic term and possibly outside of Northfield, gaining an in depth understanding and appreciation for an organization. They also help students explore their academic and career interests in a new community and work environment, which is a valuable experience for considering life after Carleton.

The CCCE offers fellowships in the winter and summer. Applications for summer fellowships are coming up, so make sure to apply if you are interested in community engagement and gaining hands-on experience in a field of interest! To find community engaged fellowships, search for CCCE 2019 in the Career Center’s job and internship database, the Tunnel.