Sophomore social work major Zoe Williard has been named a Newman Civic Fellow by the Campus Compact, a coalition of colleges committed to community engagement. Williard is the fifth Ship student selected for this prestigious fellowship.
Fellows are nominated by their university president and selected based on their potential as a future public leader. The year-long program provides training, networking and resources that will help Williard develop strategies to impact social change.
“I feel very honored and it feels validating to have my work acknowledged,” said Williard.
Since high school, Williard has engaged in volunteer work with the hope of creating change in her community. This work started with volunteering at a local homeless shelter. She frequently engaged with her school board members, advocating for policy reform and coordinated events to encourage her fellow students to engage in student activism.
These experiences and the inequities she witnessed inspired her decision to pursue a career in social work and she continues to find opportunities in and out of the classroom to make a difference.
In her first two years at Ship, she volunteered with the Shippensburg Community Resource Coalition’s Summer Lunch Program, helping to bridge the gap for low income community youths who do not have access to free or reduced lunch available during the school year. As part of her social work field hours, she worked with the organization Christ Among Neighbors to help clients secure funds for housing and utility expenses. She is also an active member of the campus chapter of Young Democrat Socialists of America, a group she says “works to address the working-class struggle and advocate for equity and progress.”
Now with the announcement of her fellowship, she is ready to take her work to the next level.
“I hope to be able to meet other people and gain insight on leadership skills,” she explained.
Williard will take part in a virtual orientation in April and begin the fellowship in September, when she will join a network of civically-oriented college student leaders who are on track to contribute to the long-term work of public problem solving and of building equitable communities.
Learn more about the Newman Civic Fellowship.