Ciara Hopkinson, The Observer
Walking past the Main Building, the new student center and perfectly manicured landscaping while going about our daily business, it can be easy to forget there is a world outside Notre Dame. The Center for Social Concerns (CSC) provides opportunities for students to get outside “the Notre Dame bubble” and become active in the surrounding South Bend community — and it held its annual fair Wednesday, showcasing some of its community partners and student service groups.
Annie Cahill Kelly, the CSC’s community partnerships and service learning director, said the fair offers students a unique chance to explore service opportunities.
“For the students, it’s a really great opportunity to speak directly with the representatives from each of the organizations … to learn more about the good work that is happening, to learn about ways they can get involved and ways they can contribute to the work and the mission,” she said.
Over 30 of the CSC’s 90 community partners had representatives and student volunteers in attendance to discuss positions at various organizations. The organizations deal with social justice issues such as domestic violence, youth development, tutoring and immigration.
“I think that everyone who comes will find something of interest, and even within some of the organizations they might have particular research needs or something that might take students in a direction that they’re really interested in but might not be readily evident from just looking at the website,” Cahill Kelly said.
While some students seek out volunteering opportunities on their own, many discover service through class. For senior Barnes Werner, a freshman Spanish class requirement has led him to become involved with Community Alliance to Serve Hispanics, or CASH. He is now on the board of the organization.
Originally published by The Observer at ndsmcobserver.com on January 24, 2018.