William Scanlan, a junior at Salem State University, is a student leader concerned with expanding voting rights within his community, housing justice, and helping individuals develop civic agency. Over the last three years he has spent a significant amount of time educating his fellow students and community members about elections, community issues, and the importance of voting as part of the advocacy process. The opportunity to lead advocacy education workshops in SSU classes provided William with the skill, confidence, and an unwavering dedication to help others find the appropriate tools to advocate for themselves and their greater communities. He is currently employed as a Senior Program Assistant in the Center for Civic Engagement, where he is able to mentor new program assistants and civic fellows as they work on important projects within the university and community.
I was inducted into the Pauci Delecti chapter of the National Honor Society during my junior year at Bellingham High School and this is when my appreciation for civic activity began. I had the privilege of being able to connect with other students and community members through volunteer efforts such as packaging meals for local homeless shelters, helping run blood drives with the American Red Cross, and tutoring students. It was at this time that I founded a service project known as Pass the Crayons – a drive in which the Bellingham community came together to donate various craft materials to children being treated at two local hospitals. Witnessing my greater community come together to provide these children with comfort was a humbling experience that I will never forget. It was this sentiment that made me want to pursue a future working in some form of public service. I strongly believe that tangible progress is possible when individuals coalesce and advocate for worthy causes. I have carried these beliefs with me through my undergraduate studies in my efforts to mobilize voters, advocate for immigrant rights, and motivate students to participate in advocacy .