Creating Resilient, Vibrant Communities – and Individuals
Did you know that UNH’s Civic & Community Engagement department provides students and staff with unique and immersive community service opportunities?
Megan Brabec ('13, '19G) is passionate about giving the UNH community “knowledge, skills, and the motivation to make a difference in the world.” Brabec is the Coordinator of UNH’s Civic & Community Engagement, which aims meet community needs beyond campus, to empower students to lead change in their communities and to promote active citizenship in a diverse democracy. She is also the Coordinator of the Pre-Orientation Volunteer Experience in Service (PrOVES) and coordinator of Peace Corps Prep. Her office connects students, faculty and staff with organizations or opportunities for community service.
Megan publishes weekly opportunities through a newsletter where volunteers can sign up for service opportunities within walking distance of campus, or in the Seacoast region. Jillian Lawrence ’22 (Business Administration) interned with Megan’s office through the SITC @ UNH program to create a webpage that will accessibly display these volunteer opportunities so the UNH community can easily sign up online; it's set to launch in spring 2022.
Part of UNH’s mission is a commitment to serving the public good, and Megan’s office is an important contributor to creating sustainable, resilient and vibrant communities in New Hampshire. Megan highlights that community service also brings important value to the individual. Many volunteers she’s worked with report that doing service resulted in personal growth, higher satisfaction with their college experience, and the collection of transferable skills – such as teamwork, communication, and network building. Megan also values service as an opportunity to connect with other people in the community and relate real world situations to one’s own field of study. Service opportunities are available to students of all majors and backgrounds.
One notable program Megan runs is PrOVES, an early arrival opportunity for incoming first-year students to spend a week working on service projects within the UNH community. For example, students in the past have helped clean up local food pantry gardens at the Waysmeet Center, organize social activities at a local nursing home, and worked on invasive species removal.
Megan also works as the coordinator of Peace Corps Prep at UNH. In the past, UNH has been a leader among volunteer-producing schools. Because the Peace Corps has a competitive application process, Megan is able to help students create impressive applications and further develop their resumes.
To get involved in service around campus, sign up for the Civic & Community Engagement newsletter to stay up to date on service opportunities. Students and staff are encouraged to volunteer and UNH offers one-paid day off per year for all employees to participate in community service.