Hunter L. Ahrens, an Albright College junior majoring in political science and urban affairs, has been involved in community engagement and education advocacy for years.
In high school, Hunter frequently attended school board meetings to call for the education of all students and to remind adults that children love learning. As an Eagle Scout, he organized and staged a public event about child sexual abuse, a project on which he worked closely with his local state representative.
At Albright, Hunter has volunteered, interned, and worked for the College's Center for Excellence in Local Government, which assists municipal leaderships in Berks County. After achieving Master Planner certification, he was appointed to the planning commission of his hometown, the 26,000-resident Exeter Township. As a commissioner, Hunter has addressed many issues raised in the township regarding land use and development.
Hunter is a former intern with the Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives and is collaborating with an Albright faculty member on research into school board campaigns. His goal is to serve his community and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Hunter Ahrens was the consensus choice when Albright was given the chance to nominate a community-minded student to serve as a Newman Civic Fellow.
I could not give an exact time when public participation became important to me, however throughout High School I spent hours a day watching C-Span, reading news articles, and listening to lectures on YouTube. Coupled with all the leadership training I was receiving from Boy Scouts and attaining the rank of Eagle, I was learning a lot of valuable information for the future. I was personally watching the movers and shakers of local governments in action almost every week especially at my local school board and township supervisors meetings. Moving into college, I continued applying all that I had learned to on-campus activities. Soon after beginning my first semester, I was hired to work at an on-campus organization that offered professional development programs to local municipal officials. Programs ranged from environmental regulations to economic development. This enabled me to get a look behind the curtain and hear what was really going on around me from the men and women working day to day to provide the services that all Americans take for granted, such as running water and clean streets. I am now able to apply all of this knowledge to my tenure on my township's Planning Commission.