Nine freshmen will spend the summer working on civic-engagement projects across the country as part of a new Pace Center program that encourages first-year students to use their academic interests to address societal issues.
Each student has been awarded a $4,500 stipend as a John C. Bogle ’51 fellow in civic service. Returning to campus in the fall, they will work on ways to connect their summer activities to their academic and career interests.
Bogle was a key supporter of the creation of the Pace Center, the hub of the University’s service and civic-engagement programs, and the new program was created with a gift from his son, John Bogle Jr., and his son’s wife, Lynn. “By creating opportunities for freshmen to pursue their own ideas about service, we’re hopeful that their early, positive experiences will make them even more interested in pursuing further service initiatives,” Bogle Jr. said.
Blaykyi Kenyah ’19, who led a spring breakout trip to Philadelphia this year, said he was struck during a visit to an inner-city elementary school where the principal also acted as the guidance counselor and nurse. “It’s not too far-fetched to imagine that this could happen in high schools, and many schools have only one counselor for 500 students” he said.
During his summer internship, Kenyah plans to visit organizations that work on issues relating to college access, compiling information and identifying areas that need more attention. By the end of his fellowship, Kenyah hopes to make his findings public and available to students and groups working to make college more accessible across the country.
Other students have planned internship projects that relate to opioid addiction, immigration policy and advocacy in California, and a preschool curriculum on environmental and animal-welfare issues.
The inaugural Bogle fellows were introduced during the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Pace Center, which was founded by Bogle, John Pace Jr. ’39, and economics professor emeritus Burton Malkiel.
Increasing the focus on service at an earlier point in an undergraduate’s years at Princeton was among the recent recommendations of a task force that looked at civic engagement as part of the University’s strategic-planning process.