Rutgers–Camden Civic Scholar Spotlight: Zach Hunt

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.

Zach Hunt
Major: Finance
Hometown: Raleigh, N.C.
High School: Karns High School, Knoxville, Tenn.

hunt-copyInspiration to Serve

Although I officially became a Rutgers–Camden Civic Scholar in fall 2013, I had already been participating in activities with the program since its inception. I had pleasantly discovered that I enjoyed doing volunteer work and the program afforded me many opportunities to do so. I had also become friends with a lot of the members, so they served as a great support system; I didn’t have to do anything alone.

Primary Roles

Over the past two years, I volunteered primarily for Holy Name School in North Camden and TeenSHARP, a college preparatory program at Rutgers–Camden. In spring 2014, I helped out in the afterschool program at Holy Name and assisted students with their homework. Since the fall, I served as a business administration intern with TeenSHARP, helping with market research, fiscal analysis, and the program newsletter. I thank Chris Countryman for suggesting that I join TeenSHARP in order to incorporate finance skills learned in my major into my service.

Growing as a Leader

Once I became a Rutgers–Camden Civic Scholar, I became more involved on campus, took on more leadership roles, and made a name for myself on campus. I learned how to create and run events, how nonprofit organizations are run, how to work as a member of a team, and the importance of giving back to the community. Essentially, wherever I end up living, I would have the skills to start a small volunteer group based on what I have learned in this program.

Signs of Hope

I see Rutgers–Camden Civic Scholars as community leaders and signs of hope to others, showing that people do care about Camden and the surrounding areas.

Real-World Experience

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend serving as a Rutgers–Camden Civic Scholar because it’s more than just service; it’s experiential learning that you can’t get in the classroom.

You Can Too!

This program will help you grow as a person and become a leader. And don’t let the 300- hour service requirement scare you; with the right service site and good planning, it will be a breeze.

Posted in: Community Outreach

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