Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has announced the 290 students who will make up the organization’s 2020-2021 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows, including the University of Maine at Augusta’s own Amanda Gardner. The 2020 cohort—the largest group of Newman Civic Fellows to date—comprises students from 39 states, Washington, D.C., Greece, Lebanon, and Mexico.
Amanda Gardner, a UMA Justice Studies major, has distinguished herself through her leadership in establishing Ruth’s Haven in August 2017. Gardner, of Rockland, joined Penobscot Bay Ministries, a local non-profit with a vision to open a re-entry house for previously incarcerated women. She latched onto this idea and ran with it. Now Ruth’s Haven focuses on helping women who have addiction to get out of prison and into a safe home, find a job, and their way back to their children in a safe and supportive way.
“I got involved with helping to address the recidivism rate in Maine and learning about the addiction epidemic while growing up,” said Gardner. “As a daughter of a Corrections Officer I would always see the same people incarcerated and saw a need in my community,” she continued, “Through my work with Ruth’s Haven, I have seen how powerful a second chance can change someone’s life.”
“It was my honor to nominate Amanda as a Newman Civic Fellow,” stated UMA President Rebecca Wyke. “She clearly demonstrates civic-mindedness through her work with Ruth’s Haven, but her work with vulnerable populations in the criminal justice system does not end there. She also volunteers with the Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project, which helps low-income families in Maine with civil legal issues, and started a weekly mentoring program with women inmates in the Knox County Jail. Amanda is well deserving of this recognition.”
The Newman Civic Fellowship, named for Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, is a one-year experience emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth for students who have demonstrated a capacity for leadership and an investment in solving public problems. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides the students with a variety of learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional, and civic growth. Each year, Fellows are invited to a national, in-person conference of Newman Civic Fellows and participate in numerous virtual training and networking opportunities. The fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.
“We are proud to recognize each of these extraordinary student leaders and thrilled to have the opportunity to engage with them,” said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. “The stories of this year’s Newman Civic Fellows make clear that they are committed to finding solutions to pressing problems in their communities and beyond. That is what Campus Compact is about, and it’s what our country and our world desperately need.”
The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation. Learn more.
About Campus Compact
Campus Compact is a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. Campus Compact supports institutions in fulfilling their public purposes by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. As the largest national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, we provide professional development to administrators and faculty to enable them to engage effectively, facilitate national partnerships connecting campuses with key issues in their local communities, build pilot programs to test and refine promising models in engaged teaching and scholarship, celebrate and cultivate student civic leadership, and convene higher education institutions and partners beyond higher education to share knowledge and develop collective capacity. Visit www.compact.org.