Sophia Boucher, a second-year student at North Shore Community College, is a student leader who is a strong advocate for eliminating the financial burden of purchasing textbooks and advancing open educational resources (OER) for faculty and students. She participated in the Commonwealth’s Community College Advocacy Day in 2019 and met with state legislators to share with them stories of her peers and the immediate need for the expansion of the OER program. Sophia continues to advocate for the expansion of OER at NSCC by hosting events for faculty and staff on the benefits of incorporating OER resources into their classes. Due to her advocacy and leadership, Sophia has been appointed to be the College’s OER student ambassador. Sophia believes there is an endless need for advocacy, and that through the opportunities she has accessed at the college, she is finding her voice.
During high school, I heard of the challenges that my generation faces, including climate change, inequality, and housing insecurities. Each challenge appeared too widespread and ingrained into society for an individual to budge. At North Shore Community College, I learned the truth: when determined individuals work together, they hold the power to reverse local, national and global issues. Through an internship with MASSPIRG, I was able to work with students to combat the issues closest to us. As the Chapter Chair, I organized advocacy events, like Get Out the Vote and calling on Legislators to pass a commitment to 100% renewable energy. I also formed connections within the college, so we can collectively work to improve students financial and environmental conditions, like advocating for cheaper alternatives to expensive textbooks and moving towards a bee-friendly campus. My advocacy for solutions to expensive textbooks, provided me the opportunity to be NSCC’s OER Student Ambassador. I am excited to continue raising awareness of the financial toll textbooks take on students and tackling this issue with students from other colleges. There is an endless need for advocacy, and I am thankful that through the opportunities provided by the college, I am finding my voice.