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Amherst College > News & Events > Amherst Magazine > Archives > Spring 2004 > College Row
College Row

Careers in service

The theme of public service that President Anthony W. Marx introduced in his Inauguration speech seems to be catching on, as large numbers of students crowded into the Keefe Campus Center for the March Not-For-Profit Fair. This year’s career fair featured a record-setting number of participants, with more than 30 nonprofit organizations and government agencies sending representatives. Students had choices that ranged from Outward Bound to Upward Bound, from the Peace Corps to Peacemaker Circle International. Those who were interested in education could choose from organizations like the Summer Institute for the Gifted, Teach for America and World Teach. Those who lean toward environmental issues could talk with people from the Student Conservation Association and the Public Interest Research Groups. According to Rosalind Hoffa, associate dean of students and the director of the Career Center, this year also marked the first time that government agencies like the U.S. Department of State and Sen. John Kerry’s office participated. For Ezekiah Phillips ’05, the government agencies were of special interest. “Partic­ularly in the election year,” he said, “the more political organizations—the Beat Bush organization and Senator Kerry’s organization—caught my eye.” Phillips said he came to the fair because his experience with the National Coalition for the Homeless through this year’s Winternship program whetted his appetite for meaningful work. He hopes to be involved with political organizations this summer, and he says that he is considering joining the Peace Corps after graduation.

Tarik Carter ’04 came to the fair to look into teaching opportunities and found himself most attracted to an organization called World Teach. A Spanish major, he applied for a World Teach program in Ecuador, and he is also looking at programs in the Marshall Islands, Chile and Costa Rica. His immediate plan is to work with the program for one year before graduate school, but he says he might “do another year, or even two or three years. I might make it a career. You never know.”

Pamela Krupman-Allyn ’84, who founded the Books for Boys program at Children’s Village (see "Book Balm") concluded the fair with a talk titled “Dream Big, Dream Real: Turn Your Passions into Programs That Can Truly Change Lives.” Outlining her experience in establishing a nonprofit organization, she demonstrated what is possible when passion and determination are combined. Sounding the theme of the fair as a whole, she suggested that students ask themselves, “‘How do I balance what I ought to do with what I want to do?’ If today were it, if the world ended tomorrow,” she said, “what would you do [with your life]?”

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