The Civic Engagement Center is making big strides to advance community involvement of the Pacific community and that is from the help of Kaely Summers, the Civic Engagement Coordinator.
Summers is a Pacific graduate who came back to work in the Civic Engagement Center, after Civic Engagement Center director Ellen Hasty invited her to apply for the position. Summers is a full time volunteer through the AmeriCorps program which is a domestic form of the Peace Corps. Her work at the center involves connecting students to different service learning opportunities in the community, working with faculty to implement more service learning into their curriculum and she acts as a community liaison for nonprofit organizations in the area.
The Tacoma, Washington native said that one of her main work goals as far as community outreach is alleviating poverty in Washington County. Though she recognizes that this is a far reaching goal, she focuses many of her organized community programs to counteract poverty. She described her work as indirect service where she creates structures that will attract students to do volunteer work.
“Service is experiential learning” Summers said. She said the experience of community service and becoming aware of social issues can be rewarding for students. She went on to say that with the certain state of our economy and environment there is a need for people to come together and work together for a much needed change.
In the future Summers would like to open a community based learning center in Tacoma, Wash, where community members can come together and learn from each other. Her learning center she hopes will increase the opportunities for individuals to gain more knowledge and power through their community. She would also like to get her Master’s in education.