REM Award Honorees (2006) — Colby South End Coalition (Colby College)

Colby College and The Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement are proud to honor the Colby South End Coalition. The student leaders to be honored are Mariah Buckley, Elise Washer, Megan Bovill and Steve Plocher.

The Colby South End Coalition (CSEC) was created in the spring of 2003 as an effort to involve Colby students with neighborhood revitalization in the South End of Waterville. It began by placing its focus on volunteerism at the South End Teen Center and soon grew into something much greater than anyone had anticipated.

During the fall of ‘04, four leaders of CSEC applied for a fellowship and grant through Maine Campus Compact with the hopes of turning their focus into one of civic engagement and awareness. They knew that they were working as hard as they possibly could. Now it was time to find a way to open up the eyes of other students and get them to better understand their community.

The students won the fellowship and in the spring of ‘05, Colby experienced its first “Burst the Bubble Week.” Students and Waterville residents alike came together to discuss the relationship between Colby and Waterville as well as ways to become better involved in the community. They attended panel discussions, wore “Burst the Bubble” shirts and pins, and celebrated the end of the week with a free ice cream social and a cappella concert at the REM Forum on Main Street. Noting the success of their efforts, the leaders of CSEC made it an annual event.

October 23-27, 2006 marked the third annual “Burst the Bubble Week” at Colby College. The Colby South End Coalition has indeed become a prominent name on the campus. The organization has shifted from a neighborhood revitalization and volunteering project to a community building effort between Colby and Waterville. Volunteers work at afterschool centers, on neighborhood clean up projects, and on events to continue building the bridge between the campus and the Waterville community as a whole.

This spring, the four leaders of CSEC (who joined the coalition as freshmen) will graduate and leadership will be put into the hands of other students. It is their hope that the South End Coalition will continue expanding and encouraging the service of Colby students and Waterville residents for years to come.

For more information about the Colby South End Coalition, now known as the Colby Waterville Alliance, please visit its webpage.

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