Lives of Purpose

Lives of Purpose (LoP), a joint effort of the Colby’s Office of Civic Engagement and Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, is dedicated to engaging a select group of students in local service and community building. This program focuses on direct service paired with group reflection to enhance learning about the role we all play in creating healthy communities.If you want to be more involved in the community, develop deep friendships with your classmates, and ask big questions about who we are and what we ought to do, please join us. Apply online! Applications are due September 1st for the Fall 2020 cohort.

Have a question about LoP?

For more information, contact us! Kate Smanik, Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life, Paige Begley, Assistant Director of Student Civic Engagement, Jordyn Kim ’22, or Katie Dodgson ’22 program chairs.

Lives of Purpose

Who should join LoP?

Any student interested in building community, serving locally, and exploring values and commitments. Everyone is welcome to participate; members of the world’s religious traditions, atheists, agnostics, seekers, or anywhere in between.

What is the commitment?

In the fall of 2020 we will meet twice a month for reflection and group service activities. In a typical year students will engage weekly (usually one afternoon or evening) in a local nonprofit focused on food and hunger programs in Waterville and Central Maine. The group then gathers twice per month for reflection, community building and group service opportunities. Plan on spending about three hours per week on average participating in Lives of Purpose.

Why should I join?

Many students come to Colby with a passion for community service and social justice work. Many more come with deep questions about who they are and how to put their talents to work in the world. Lives of Purpose offers a community of students the opportunity to engage substantively with the community while building deep and lasting relationships with peers. The group seeks to form a safe-enough space to delve consistently into big questions of meaning, purpose, and community.

In what ways does LoP engage ‘religious’ questions?

We anticipate that students in the program will encompass a wide variety of religious traditions as well as students who are not religious or not religious in a conventional way. The key aspect of the program is engaging themes of integrity, values, commitment, and social justice. For some students, this will have a religious component. For others it will not. The program is meant to be an open place to discuss, support, and even challenge one another. Our hope is that each person will feel comfortable enriching our discussions with their own personal perspectives.

What should I do next?

Apply online (applications due September 1st ) for the Fall 2020 cohort, or contact Kate Smanik, Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life via email or at 207-859-4272 if you have more questions.

Meet the People of LOP

Jordyn Kim

Jordyn Kim is a junior from Glenview, Illinois, majoring in Mathematical Sciences and minoring in Chemistry. She joined LoP during her freshman year and has appreciated the connections she has made with her classmates and mentors. Apart from LoP, she is a member of the Asian Student Association, an SVP Peer Educator, and a Teaching Assistant for the Math and Chemistry Department. In her free time, she loves to be outside, travel, and take photographs.  

Katie Dodgson

Katie Dodgson is a junior from Munster, Indiana! She is majoring in biology hoping to study veterinary sciences after graduation; she also plans to minor in English. She joined LoP during her sophomore year and has loved engaging with her community. Outside of LoP, Katie is the quilting club co-president and a community advisor. In her free time, Katie likes to read, spend time with friends, and play volleyball. During the summer, Katie interned at Wolf Park in Battle Ground, IN!