Greenfield Community College Student Senator Crystal Kindle is one of 201 students from across the United States being honored for her leadership by being chosen to receive a Newman Civic Fellow Award from Campus Compact. Kindle, 32, of Rowe, will graduate in May of 2016 with an Associate in Arts, Liberal Arts degree and major in Human Services. In addition to maintaining 3.84 Grade Point Average at GCC, Kindle dedicates her time and passion to being a Greenfield Community College (GCC) Student Senator, volunteering for the Reinventing Justice Restorative Board, and serving as student organizer for the Clothesline Project and Intern at the Franklin County House of Corrections. Since entering GCC, Kindle has received the Bohne Scholarship for Women in Transition and the Evelyn N. Fitzroy Scholarship and has been inducted into the College’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Campus Compact is a national coalition of nearly 1,100 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility.
Kindle was nominated for the Award by GCC President Bob Pura. He is one of many college and university presidents across the country ⎯ all members of Campus Compact ⎯ who nominated promising student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in their community to be Newman Civic Fellows. Through service, research, and advocacy, these Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.
Kindle is committed to being a leader and working for social change. She said, “After attending school through sixth grade, I became pregnant at the age of fifteen. At thirty-one, I became a first-time college student. I am a leader, a leader for all the women and men that thought obtaining a GED with minimal education could not be done, for the high/middle school dropouts that did not think a college education was within reach, and for the teenage parents who got caught up in their adult responsibilities and put their education on the back burner.
As a leader for social change, I have found my voice! I believe getting to the core of social change is to see the humanity in all, and to stand up and let myself be seen! Becoming involved in my community has taught me the importance of being a voice and an advocate for those around me and the impact it has on creating social change. In order to create change I had to first be the change. I feel as though I have set the platform for others like myself.”
In his nomination of Kindle for the Newman Civic Fellow Award, President Pura said, “Crystal Kindle’s story is one of inspiration to those who have felt marginalized by life circumstances. She is determined to set an example for her son and daughter. Crystal utilizes each and every resource that Greenfield Community College has to offer to be able to advocate for others. Crystal has the potential to make significant contributions to public problem solving by reaching out to others who have lived through similar circumstances and provide hope, encouragement and a sense of peace. As a parent, she believes in leading by the power of example by bringing her thirteen year old daughter to volunteer alongside her at the Stone Soup Café in Greenfield.”
The Newman Civic Fellow Award is named for a founder of Campus Compact. “Dr. Frank Newman, a founder of Campus Compact, had a tremendous impact on American education and its role in the development of citizens who are eager and prepared to make a difference,” explains Campus Compact President Andrew J. Seligsohn. “He dedicated his life to creating systemic change through education reform and this new group of Newman Civic Fellows would have inspired him. They are reflections and affirmations of his life’s work.”
As these students tackle community challenges, they provide fresh energy and perspective, inspire and mobilize others, and develop their own skills and potential. This year’s record amount of Fellows will leverage an even greater capacity for engagement and change through online networking. In keeping with their generation’s emphasis on networks over hierarchies, Newman Civic Fellows will share ideas and materials to further their work through an exclusive online community especially for Fellows.
The Newman Civic Fellows Award is sponsored by the KPMG Foundation. For more information about Campus Compact and the award, visit http://www.compact.org.
By Mary McClintock, ’82
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