Olivia Engling

College of Saint Benedict

Olivia Engling, a junior at the College of Saint Benedict, is a student leader who works to build inclusive communities that welcome all as full and valuable members. In a variety of campus leadership roles, community volunteer positions, and project internships, she has thoughtfully worked to address root causes of inequity keeping chronically marginalized populations from meaningful relationships within the community. For example, last year Olivia was selected as lead research coordinator for Extending the Link, helping to produce the documentary Bayt Jadeed, which narrates the search for home from the perspective of refugees and receiving communities in Germany and Minnesota. Olivia serves as a mentor and tutor of high school students and recently completed an internship with Community Groundworks, teaching low-income students in an interactive outdoor classroom. And, through her work with Community Kitchen, she manages a network of committed students, employees, volunteers and community partners providing meals to people in need throughout the local community. In all her various experiences, Olivia seeks to bring those on the outside in.

Dr. Mary Dana Hinton
College of Saint Benedict

Personal Statement

I stepped onto campus committed to service, as both a Peace Studies major and
a Bonner Leader, but my path has been profoundly shaped since then. My position at
Community Kitchen, a student-led organization that rescues food on campus to
decrease food waste and insecurity, has taught me many valuable skills from coalition
building to recruiting and maintaining volunteers. It's brought me closer to the
community and served as a catalyst in developing meaningful relationships. My service
learning at the OIF Dream Center, a home for men transitioning out of incarceration,
expanded my worldview and career aspirations. Through that experience, I saw the
power of organizations that, through holistically caring for the whole person, seek to
empower individuals to change the course of their lives, while creating radically
transformative community. I aspire to create or work in an organization that reintegrates
the chronically marginalized into our society: the homeless, the previously incarcerated,
the generationally poor. My goal is to bring those on the outside in, while expanding the
inclusivity of our society and dismantling the systems that perpetuate that
marginalization, breaking those cycles. By embracing and standing in fellowship with
the marginalized, we create a better, more just world.

Olivia Engling
Peace Studies and Psychology: Class of 2021
written 2020

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