Avery Allen, class of 2020, is thoughtfully engaged across our campus. Ms. Allen is a member, and the secretary of Creating Awareness and Unity for Social Equity ( C.A.U.S.E.), works as a Community Advisor to our Spanish Language Living Learning Community and serves as an ambassador for Mt. Holyoke's Weissman Center for Leadership. Ms. Allen's work on C.A.U.S.E. board centers around developing a variety community service opportunities for her fellow students that serve the needs of neighboring communities. In addition to being connected on campus, Ms. Allen has been volunteering since the beginning of her first year at with the Valley Opportunity Council's adult education and English language learning programs in Chicopee, MA. Working with the Valley Opportunity Council has given Ms. Allen the opportunity to immerse herself in one of her areas of interest, social services. Recently, a paper that Allen co-authored with two Mount Holyoke professors and another student was accepted for publication in the Journal of Latino Studies. The article details Ms. Allen and her co-author's experiences with visiting migrant detainee's in Massachusetts.
Thoughtful engagement in my community is central to my personal values. When I moved across the country to attend Mount Holyoke, I knew that in order to feel at home, I needed to find a way to participate in my community both on and off campus. As the daughter of a social worker, listening and giving support to others has always been a part of my life. Growing up, my mother emphasized the importance of giving to others and often reminded me and my siblings that kindness was expected. In her eyes, and now mine, generosity, and altruism can and should be natural parts of our daily lives. She set an example with her caring attitude that I strive to follow, and to cultivate on my campus. Being a board member of CAUSE: Creating Awareness and Unity for Social Equity has given me a position in which I can encourage other students to engage in our community, and thereby engage in benevolent practice. By working with the Valley Opportunity Council, I have been able to live up to this expectation of altruism, foster meaningful relationships, and learn more about my community.