Jack Spiller, a third-year student at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, is an active student leader, both on and off campus. In his role as both a Community Engagement Intern and a Bonner Leadership Team member, Spiller works to connect the Capital community with neighbors living in the Near East Side of Columbus. Through his work with multiple community partners and campus offices, Jack leads "Kids Kamp" events, which bring underserved children to Capital University. These events open our campus community to our neighbors, help the children see themselves in a college setting and know that Capital is a place they can feel welcome and safe. Jack plays a pivotal role in creating these and many other lasting partnerships with the community.
I first became involved in community engagement work by serving as one of the community engagement interns in the Office of Student and Community Engagement at Capital University. I began working with many of the community partners that Capital had already established, particularly the Near East Side community through First English Lutheran Church. Working closely with the Pastor and her leadership team, I developed many connections in that community. Through these connections, I have been able to help plan and implement programs that fit the needs of the community, as well as serve as a bridge between the neighborhood and our Capital Community. I am most proud of our programs that bring children from the Near East Side community to Capital's campus and I was honored to initiate this first event that has grown each time it has been offered. In addition to my work in the near east Columbus community, I also created the Smile! Series, a program designed to allow Capital University students the opportunity to make a craft or activity kit to be given to the patients in the oncology wing at Nationwide Children's Hospital.