Class of 2021: Students make an impact with 1,000+ community service hours

Class of 2021: Students make an impact with 1,000+ community service hours

For 24 years, The GIVE Center has helped connect students to volunteer opportunities and the Milledgeville community—creating a legacy of giving and philanthropy.  

The class of 2021 has made its impact on Milledgeville, with several students exceeding 1000 volunteer service hours.  

Here's what they said about the organizations they're involved with, why they value community service and how they encourage others to get involved. 

Kelly Bousquette
Kelly Bousquette

Kelly Bousquette

  • 4 Majors - Psychology, Sociology, Criminal Justice, Liberal Studies
  • 1100+ Service Hours

I have supported GC Miracle, GC Habitat for Humanity, GC Shelter Buddies, Gamma Sigma Sigma, Gamma Beta Phi and Circle K.  I have held leadership roles and supported GC Students for Change and GC Service Council. I have also have volunteered or supported: Habitat Milledgeville-Baldwin County, Harrisburg Community Garden, Cafe Central, Baldwin County Animal Shelter, Northridge Church- Food Pantry and the Bright House. 

My involvement with service has impacted my entire experience in college.  It has contributed to my personal and professional growth the last four years.  I have had so many fulfilling service and leadership opportunities, close friendships and I have gotten the chance to grow a stronger connection with the community.  It has given me a new perspective on life and what path I want to take career-wise.

I would say that volunteering in a service organization is one of the most fulfilling things that you can do at Georgia College.  It’s so nice to be able to actively see the change that you can make on the community or on campus. 

Katie Brashear (center)
Katie Brashear (center)

Katie Brashear

  • Music Therapy Major/Outdoor Education Minor
  • 1100+ Service Hours

I have been involved with Greater Milledgeville Young Life for all four years of my time at Georgia College. Through my involvement as a Young Life Leader, I have learned the importance of community. Being a Young Life leader has provided me with the opportunity to step outside of my college campus and see my Milledgeville community as a whole. Not only did this widen my perspective of Baldwin County, but it also shaped my worldview as I was made aware of systemic issues of poverty and race that affect my community. 

I would say to others, think about how you want to spend your days over the next four years.  The world around us has created this idea of what college is "supposed" to look like, but that is not what your time at Georgia College has to be shaped by.  This is a season of your life that many people around you believe is meant to be a selfish time for you to satisfy your own wants and needs and invest only in yourself as you try to figure out what you want to do with the life ahead of you. I am telling you now that you have a different option! Use this time as an opportunity to give your life away, and I promise what you will reap in return will be far greater than what you would have found in serving only yourself. Being in college means you have the freedom to decide how you will spend your time.  Consider investing it in something bigger than yourself! 

Mary Katherine Mason
Mary Katherine Mason

Mary Katherine Mason

  • Psychology Major
  • 1400+ Service Hours

I am a part of Georgia College Miracle and YoungLife. Volunteer service has completely changed my time in college. I have gotten the opportunity to be a part of something so much bigger than myself and give back to organizations and communities that I’m passionate about. I feel really lucky to have been given the chance to immerse myself into the community around me, outside of just being involved on Georgia College’s campus.  I would say to get involved as early as you can! Even if you’re on the fence, actually getting involved and seeing other people your age be passionate about something will spark your passion and interest. There’s nothing like giving back to the community you live in and I couldn’t recommend getting involved in service organizations enough!

Olivia VanKouwenberg
Olivia VanKouwenberg

Olivia VanKouwenberg 

  • Biology and Non-Profit CNP 
  • 1500+ Service Hours

I've been involved with GC Shelter Buddies. Volunteering has been the biggest part of my college experience. It has given me something to be responsible for and has helped me become a better version of myself.  Because of volunteering, I can leave Georgia College happy with the change that I have made in this community and the legacy I hope I am leaving behind to continue to do amazing things even without me here.  It has shaped what career path I want to pursue and how I want to help the world around me for the rest of my life. If you feel passionate about something, act on it. The only way that YOU can make a difference is if you take the first step to make an impact. 

 


 

Emily Williams
Emily Williams

Emily Williams

  • Biology Major
  • 1600+ Service Hours

I have been very involved with GC Shelter Buddies - a wonderful organization that supports the local Baldwin County Animal Shelter. Volunteer service has entirely shaped my collegiate experience into a great one!  I have been able to meet my best friends through volunteering at the shelter as well as follow my passion for working with animals.  While volunteering with Shelter Buddies, I decided to get my nonprofit certification to hopefully work with an animal shelter or rescue in the future! I would say to others try a few different organizations and see which one works best for you. Once you find your passion, volunteer service will no longer be a chore, but rather a great hobby! 

McKenna Yearick
McKenna Yearick

McKenna Yearick 

  • Nursing Major
  • 1100+ Service Hours

I have had the opportunity to serve in various non-profit organizations while at college. The one I have served with the most is YoungLife, by being a friend and Godly mentor to middle school students in the greater Milledgeville area. I also served with Communities in Schools by going into classrooms and tutoring specific kids who needed extra one-on-one attention and help with their school.  I have served with the Disabilities Services department here at GC, by taking handwritten and typed notes in my various classes to help provide study tools to students who learn differently than I do.  Finally, I worked with Cafe Central which is a local soup kitchen that provides meals to hundreds of individuals and families on a weekly basis. 

Volunteer service has been one of the absolute highlights of my college career.  By finding ways to serve the community, you realize that you are a part of something much bigger than just you.  I have gotten to watch my middle school students grow up over my four years at GC, and I intend to maintain our friendships long after I have left Milledgeville.  Volunteering my time has connected me to others who are like-minded, and helped me meet my best friends. 

I would say to DO IT! By getting involved in service opportunities, you start to realize the things that you actually care about are worth the time commitment. You discover that you can use your time and resources to truly make a difference in your community. People matter, and when you use your time to invest in others, you will always benefit so much more than you ever imagined!!