Rutgers–Camden Civic Scholar Spotlight: Amy Mallon

By Tom McLaughlin

Since its inception in fall 2011, the Rutgers–Camden Civic Scholars program has partnered with more than forty organizations in the university’s host city, with Civic Scholars – committing 300 hours of community service in an academic year – contributing to projects and initiatives ranging from community building, healthcare, volunteer recruitment, homeless outreach, youth program enrichment, college access, and urban environmental justice.

On May 21, nine Rutgers–Camden Civic Scholars will be the first from this fast-growing and indispensable cadre of volunteers to graduate from Rutgers–Camden – including four from the original cohort: Amy Mallon, Shaili Patel, Angelica Shaw, and Russell Tichian.

In a series of portraits, these exemplary humanitarians share their invaluable experiences and lessons learned, and offer words of advice for others interested in taking this personal pledge of service.

Amy Mallon
Major: Social Work
Hometown: Voorhees
High School: Eastern Regional High School, Voorhees

mallonInspiration to Serve

I was a member of my high school’s INTERACT club, which was a community-service group. Being a part of that group gave me the courage to apply to the Rutgers–Camden Civic Scholars program, because I felt confident in the work that I was doing in my hometown.

Primary Roles

I have personally worked at more than 25 organizations in the City of Camden during my four years in the program. My primary sites have always been The Neighborhood Center and the Office of Civic Engagement at Rutgers–Camden. At The Neighborhood Center, I served as both the assistant chef for the community kitchen and the volunteer coordinator.

Being the chef was always instant gratification. Having worked with the homeless population for so long made me feel like I was making a true difference. My most rewarding experiences occurred when I saw the community members, whom I served lunch to years ago, walking around Camden. They still remember my face and my name, and I remember theirs.

One-of-a-Kind Experience

My experience has been phenomenal. I could never have gotten this type of experience and exposure through any other organization.

Words of Wisdom

I would tell prospective Rutgers–Camden Civic Scholars that this isn’t an easy role. It takes dedication to do the kind of work we do. Even though it is hard, a passion will begin developing and it will guide you through the program.

Benefits for Life

My experience will help me after graduation because it placed me in real-world settings. I had to manage my time, money, and resources. I had to endure tough scenarios and actually manage issues such as supervisory issues, program and personal-mission alignment, and the lack of and redistribution of resources. I have been able to have the experiences that any intern could get, but through a means that I felt passionate about.

Posted in: Community Outreach

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