Hadley Sternberg has had a desire to engage in community from early in her life. Her commitment to community-based work with a social justice lens began after her Bat Mitzvah, when she was encouraged by her faith community to think about meaningful ways to contribute to her home city of Portland, Oregon and beyond. Hadley felt a strong desire to be "part of the world," and so spent a gap year with AmeriCorps, providing emergency assistance to communities. She has remarked on how this work challenged her growing sense of social justice, and gifted her with the ability to listen to multiple perspectives from community members themselves. After working so effectively in a team setting, she was drawn to leadership roles as she entered Goucher College. Although only in her second year at Goucher, Hadley has impressed her teachers and peers with her open, voracious desire to learn and grow. She is a member of the highly selective Students Leaders for Civic Action program, working one-on-one with a local environmental neighborhood collective to plant trees, clean streams and remove invasive plants. These sites are for public use, and can positively impact the quality of life for all users.
Everything is connected. Having had this knowledge from a young age, I have felt a moral obligation to be an engaged, intentional, aware, and responsible member of all the communities and different social circles/spaces. Through my Jewish upbringing, I learned the power of Mitzvot: doing good for others without asking anything in return. After high school, I volunteered with AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps, a 10-month government funded residential volunteer program focused on disaster relief working within different communities. Throughout the day, we worked directly with disaster survivors in customer service doing case work, and then on weekends and after work, we would participate in stream clean ups, dog adoption days, and tutoring afterschool youth. After my gap year with AmeriCorps, I took a Community-Based Learning (CBL) class with two amazing women who are now my bosses. I work at the CBL office as a Student Leader for Civic Action doing environmental work to preserve and restore native species, increase forestry in urban and community spaces, and to combat the effect of climate change. I love working with others, bridging cultural and social differences to come together for one communal goal that in the end benefits us all.