In addition to the many academically-rooted civic learning and action opportunities offered at Bates, the Harward Center for Community Partnerships also facilitates co-curricular volunteer and civic leadership opportunities for Bates students, faculty, and staff. Making use of an extensive database of agencies and contacts, as well as a wealth of personal connections, Harward Center staff assist prospective volunteers in identifying opportunities that best suit their interests, values, and schedules while addressing community-identified needs and priorities.
A team of students with extensive civic engagement experience serve as Community Outreach Fellows, helping their fellow students find desired opportunities for co-curricular volunteer work in a wide range of areas. Each Fellow serves as a campus liaison to a local non-profit organization and works 6-10 hours per week to educate the campus community about that organization and to recruit, train, and manage Bates volunteers for engagement with the agency. Community Outreach Fellows also participate in monthly reflection and skill-building workshops designed to develop their civic leadership capacities.
The Bates Bonner Leader Program, also overseen by the Harward Center for Community Partnerships, is part of a national network of 80 campuses across the country. This four-year program features sustained civic learning and action, one-on-one and small-group mentoring relationships, collaborative and cross-cultural problem-solving experiences, ample opportunities for reflection and skill building, and financial support. Thanks to their sustained, four-year investment in community work, Bonner Leaders are typically highly regarded by community partners and are able to make significant contributions to the off-campus community. They also receive valuable guidance, expertise, and mentoring from community members.
While there are a number of volunteer programs run through the Harward Center, there is also collaboration with and support provided for other student-run programs, including the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Cats and Cubs program, Bates Buddies, and the Women’s Resource Center/Poland High School program.