Community Engagement and Social Impact
Community Engagement and Social Impact programs exist at the juncture of the “head, heart, and hands” to create positive change in the world.This programming provides an opportunity for students to make meaningful connections between classroom learning, personal beliefs, and the needs of local and global communities. Students participate in hands-on opportunities to meet immediate needs while examining larger structures that perpetuate inequity, and are challenged to think and problem-solve through the lens of equity and justice. The Emma approach to community engagement offers flexibility and choice so that each student can choose the breadth and depth of their participation.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Emma is a time of reflection, growth, and community. It is a call to action and a time to recommit ourselves to creating the world in which we want to live. From a panel discussion with alums of color to equity workshops covering topics from codeswitching to LGBTQ+ issues to environmental impact on communities of color, the day was full of conversations about creating Dr. King’s vision of the “beloved community.”
Emma Willard School delivers personalized learning in many ways. Class sizes are small, allowing for the kind of individual attention that is challenging in other settings. Students are empowered to engage and advocate for themselves, making the most of their educational experience. The school also offers many special programs which tap into the unique skills and talents of both teachers and students.
At Emma Willard School, Community Engagement and Social Impact programs exist at the juncture of the “head, heart, and hands” to create positive change in the world. These curated projects and community engagement opportunities (CEOs) take weekend activities by storm, boasting a completely full volunteer list and waitlist each week for engagement opportunities.
The Spring 2023 edition of Emma Willard School’s Signature magazine focuses on aspects of academic excellence on Mount Ida, including how curated service learning projects and community engagement opportunities (CEOs) help investigate food inequities throughout the United States.
The Student Organization for Animal Respect (SOAR) advocates for the wellbeing of animals, while bringing awareness to the Emma community about the issues of maltreatment. SOAR organizes many events throughout the school year, from fundraising for animal rights organizations to volunteering at local animal sanctuaries. The group recently visited Little Brook Farm who thanked the group on social media saying, “We have no paid staff and a lot of stalls to clean so we're very grateful for all the help—it's both needed and appreciated!”
As part of the Community Engagement weekend program, students cooked a meal on Superbowl Sunday for the residents of Joseph's House shelter in downtown Troy. They had a blast cooking up chili, wings, cornbread, and salad for a very grateful group of game-watching guests!
Associate Director of Equity and Inclusion Gemma Halfi and History Instructor Dr. Katharine Holt recently took the Environmental Justice class on a trip to Collard City Growers in Troy.
Two CEOs (Community Engagement Opportunities) were held last weekend, cleaning up trash along Poestenkill and preparing food for guests at the local food pantry.