Amanda Wittebort, first year master's student studying higher education at the University of Denver, is a civic leader who has engaged in service-learning, community development and positive youth development. Throughout her educational and professional journey, she has sought opportunities to develop her civic leadership skills so she can increase her capacity to effect positive community change. When Amanda completes her master's degree, she will be uniquely positioned to continue her civic work by improving college access and creating opportunities for youth to cultivate civic leadership skills. Amanda is a community-focused leader who continually considers how her own actions and that of the groups she is a member of will impede or promote collective efforts to improve the lives of individuals and communities. She is also committed to leveraging youth voice and sharing power in public policies. Ultimately, Amanda aspires to create a sense of belonging and community within any space she occupies. She also wants to cultivate her service-learning and community organizing skills while gaining a deeper understanding of gender and culture. Upon graduation, Amanda plans to use these skills within a collegiate environment or a nonprofit where she can encourage positive youth development and social justice.
My passion for fostering supportive spaces for youth agency and expression was sparked by my own experiences as a young person. During college, I found community through my role as the youth and education chair, partnering with local organizations who focused on youth's wide-range of needs. I went on to engage in this work in both national and international contexts. I served two years alongside a diverse team in Baton Rouge schools as a CityYear AmeriCorps member, focusing on socioemotional interventions and youth engagement. I then served as a Youth & Families Peace Corps volunteer. That opportunity taught me the necessity of co-creating mutually beneficial partnerships that center the experience, knowledge, and wisdom of those most affected. As an educator, I am committed to leveraging youth voice and sharing power in policies and creating a shared vision. I am now pursuing a Master's in Higher Education to invest in our education system's role in community development. My vocation can directly affect every student, because every person has a vital role in civic engagement. I hope to support our future leaders in becoming active global citizens committed to the public good. I want to be part of removing barriers, disrupting oppressive systems and investing in our students' capacity to transform society.