Lives of Purpose
Lives of Purpose (LoP), a joint effort of the Colby Volunteer Center and Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, is dedicated to engaging a select group of first-year students in local service and community building around active reflection on ethical and/or religious commitments.
If you’re an incoming student who wants to be 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 by January 31st for the Spring 2019 cohort, or contact Elizabeth Jabar, Director of Civic Engagement and Community Partnerships, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-859-4272 with more questions.
Have a question about LoP?
For more information, contact Elizabeth Jabar, Director of Civic Engagement and Community Partnerships, or Thu Le ’19, program chair.
Lives of Purpose
Who should join LoP?
Any incoming (first-year or transfer) student interested in building community, serving locally, and exploring values at commitments—members of the world’s religious traditions, atheists, agnostics, seekers, or anywhere in between.
What is the commitment?
Students will engage weekly (usually one afternoon or evening) in a local nonprofit focused on food and hunger programs in Waterville and Central Maine. Plan on about three hours per week. Small groups will meet for dinner twice a month. The full group will gather monthly for discussion or gatherings with campus or local leaders.
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 first-year 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 by August 31 for the Fall 2018 cohort, or contact Kurt Nelson, dean of religious and spiritual life, at email@example.com or 207-859-4272 with more questions.
Meet the People of LOP
Thu Le ’19 – firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a senior majoring in both Biochemistry and Science, Technology and Society. I’m from Vietnam, but I spent my last two years of high school in Singapore. After joining Lives of Purpose in my first year, I have been deeply touched by the connections I made with other members and learned a lot from the conversations and volunteer work we shared together. Therefore, I have stayed with the group ever since. Aside from LoP, I’m also a member of Colby’s Admission Ambassadors, International Club and Chorale. In my free time, I love reading books and taking part in fun activities with my friends, especially arts and crafts. After Colby, I hope to enroll in a graduate program in Environmental Health Sciences. I’m eager to lead Lives of Purpose in the coming year and welcome new group members from the class of 2022.
Coming into my second semester as a freshman at Colby, I found myself eager to be a part of a special community. LOP was the perfect group; It created a way for me to combine two important aspects of my life: service and school. Regardless of the context, I have always been passionate about giving a helping hand during a time of need. I am honored to be assisting the Waterville community while simultaneously connecting with others at Colby.
I am a first-gen student from Houston, Texas. I love pupusas, bachata, and warm weather. LOP is great way to get off campus and make meaningful connections.
Hello! My name is Alyssa Chesney, I am a QuestBridge junior at Colby, and this is my third year with the Lives of Purpose program. For me, Lives of Purpose emphasizes the importance of people and connections with others—from going to the shelter, to having discussions with fellow LOPers. I am so glad to be back with it again this semester!
Hi! My name is Taylor and I’m from New Jersey. I love all things outdoors, especially skiing and sunrises! I’m majoring in Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience, and minoring in Sociology. In addition to being a LOP mentor I am also a Tour Guide, Research Assistant, SHOC member, Pre-Health Society secretary, and volunteer at Hope’s Place. Joining LOP has been such a formative part of my Colby experience – I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community as well as connect with the amazing children and families each week.
Hey everyone, I’m Hannah Johnson, a sophomore from Lancaster, PA! I’m currently a psychology major with a neuroscience concentration on the premed track. Even though I love my state, Maine will always have a special place in my heart. You can catch me skiing at Sugarloaf, studying in an Olin cubby, or eating spoonfuls of Foss peanut butter (highly recommend). I can’t wait to meet you all and get you excited about Lives of Purpose!
My name is Avery Munns and I am from Topeka, Kansas. In addition to Lives of Purpose, I am in Multi-Faith Council, CCAK, Ballroom Dance Club, a tutor in the Farnham Writers’ Center and a CA of East! Through important engagement with the homeless shelter, Lives of Purpose has helped me bond with a community of other Colby students who also value meaning in their lives.
My name is Sam Orenstein and I am from Marblehead, Massachusetts, but Maine has always been my second home. I am a double major in Global Studies and Spanish and can’t wait to study abroad and hopefully become fluent in Spanish. I love LOP because it allows me to connect with kids on a weekly basis and provide important value to the greater Colby community.
Sam McGrath Holmquist
Sam is a curious sophomore, with an open heart. As a lifelong lover of reading and writing, Sam is an English Major with a focus in creative writing. He will also probably minor in Education and Italian; stay tuned. Ever since he was young, Sam has loved working with kids. On campus, you can find him playing trumpet in the orchestra, writing fantasy (and sometimes poetry), and escaping to the Arboretum to walk, run, or read. With an interest in almost everything, he is extremely excited to spend another year with the CLoP club.
Hannah is wildly enthusiastic about community! She joined Lives of Purpose as a way to build community at Colby and with Waterville citizens. Volunteering at the homeless shelter and reflecting with her lovely LOPers has been an excellent opportunity to build fruitful relationships and she is excited to continue that journey this year. When she’s not at a Colby Religious and Spiritual Life gathering (which is a rather rare occasion…), Hannah is busy studying religion, going on outdoor adventures, and daydreaming about glorious summer days at Pilgrim Lodge (the Maine UCC summer camp).
Director of Civic Engagement and Community Partnerships
Elizabeth A. Jabar is the inaugural Director of Civic Engagement and Community Partnerships at Colby. She is an artist and educator who works in the studio, the classroom, and the community to co-create collaborative and participatory projects with students, colleagues and community members. She was formerly a Professor of the Printmaking at Maine College of Art where she also designed and launched a distinctive civic engagement curriculum and an academic minor. Elizabeth is excited about working with students in Lives of Purpose to support their mission and build relationships inside and outside the college.