Gwyneth Harrick is a public administration major and social service minor at Northern Michigan University (NMU) who is dedicated to service. In the summer of her freshman year, Gwyneth represented NMU as an AmeriCorps STEM Connect Member at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area where she earned internship credit related to her major. At the Boys and Girls Club, Gwyneth attacked the issue of summer learning loss in at-risk youth. Prior to her term of service, Gwyneth was employed at the Harbor House Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Shelter in her community where she served as an advocate for victims of abuse. Gwyneth is currently employed by the NMU Center for Student Enrichment where she writes grants for Cat Packs, a program which addresses food insecurity faced by local youth. Other approaches to addressing social issues include her administrative role as an executive on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marquette and Alger Counties. Gwyneth also interned for a U.S. Senator this fall in order to gain valuable experience in her field of interest and learn about public policy. Gwyneth exemplifies leadership both on campus and in the community in order to address real issues.
My first major commitment to service was joining AmeriCorps NCCC-FEMA Corps as a team leader a month after finishing high school. The program involved managing a team of 10 adults while traveling the country and providing flood relief for disasters such as Hurricane Joaquin. This experience catalyzed further involvement in my local community, where I have served as an advocate for childhood hunger and development as well as for victims of sexual and domestic violence. My most meaningful learning opportunity occurred at the Harbor House Domestic Violence Shelter, where I learned about social problems in my own community. The residents of the shelter strengthened my desire to improve my community through civic engagement. Furthermore, these experiences have led to a newfound desire to address social problems through public policy. It is my hope to use what I have learned through service and my education in order to continue growing as a leader in community development and policy.