Courtney Crowley, a double major in Special Education and Political Science, represents the values of the Newman Civic Fellowship as well as Bridgewater State University (BSU). Courtney's campus-community engagement work includes BSU’s Community Engagement Living-Learning Community, a year of service with the AmeriCorps Jumpstart program, and as a student Team Leader for BSU's Alternative Break experience focused on homelessness and food security in Washington DC.
Courtney has also committed time to learn about and contribute to community service and social justice efforts within her local community. Courtney has volunteered with food programs at the Pine Street Inn and Food Link, and is an advocate for the rights of youth with different abilities. Last year, Courtney attended an ACLU student advocacy institute in Washington, DC, focused on grassroots organizing, policy development, and legal advocacy.
Courtney supports her peers at BSU and empowers them to take a stand for their beliefs, engage with their elected officials, and to actively participate in their communities. Courtney will use the Newman Civic Fellowship as another learning opportunity to further inspire herself, her fellow students, and the next group of campus and community leaders to share their voices to make positive social change.
My start in civic engagement began at a young age in the fight for my brother’s education. My twin brother was diagnosed with autism and it has been a fight to get what he needs every day. As I got older, I learned about the injustice that exists for people with disabilities and I saw firsthand the barriers that are in place that restrict their ability to receive what they are promised under federal law.
I believe that in order to bring about positive social change, you must take the time to understand the underlying issues. I look for opportunities to participate in programs that align with my values such as the Alternative Break, the Children’s Physical Development Clinic, Jumpstart and the Community Engagement Living-Learning Community. Through these programs, I learn how to effectively work with the community and advocate for a more just society. I look for different opportunities to put my education into action and this year I have had the opportunity to intern on a presidential campaign that matches my own beliefs. I am excited to continue my work for justice and to deepen my learning experiences.