Demonstrating her dedication to service at the university and in her community, sophomore Margaret “Meg” Harmon earned the 2020 Newman Civic Fellowship.
As a student at West Morris Central High School, Harmon loved helping others through teaching and volunteer work. She carried this desire to serve to college, finding opportunities during the university’s Day of Service, in her teaching placements through the early childhood/elementary education program, and with the Shippensburg Rotary Club.
The Newman Civic Fellowship is a yearlong program that provides students with learning opportunities to develop skills as agents of change in their community. Harmon said, “receiving this award is humbling and fuels my fire to help others even more.”
Working with her classmates, she helped landscape a new trail-head along the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail. The student team installed landscape timbers, cleared rocks, spread soil, and completed work on a deck that provides ADA-compliant accessibility to a new railroad museum along the trail.
Harmon serves as vice president of the Rotaract Club of Shippensburg, a service club sponsored by the Rotary Club of Shippensburg that focuses on helping the local community through student-led service.
Harmon started Rotaract during her first year at Ship with the help of friends Catlin Demski, Ryanne Martin, and Aidan Putnam, along with Dr. Allen Dietrich-Ward, history professor and member of the Shippensburg Rotary Club. Other university and community members collaborated to bring the club to life, including Javita Thompson, director of First-Year Experience and Community Engagement; Shippensburg Mayor Kathy Coy; and Jody Cole, the president of the Rotary Club of Shippensburg. Harmon appreciates these individuals for consistently offering volunteer opportunities and said, “I would not be where I am today without all their support.”
Rotaract holds a number of events to promote physical and social wellness in the Shippensburg community, including kickball and dodgeball tournaments, an annual Christmas charity, and volunteering at King’s Kettle Food Pantry. The club also seeks to develop international understanding and peace by giving all proceeds to LifeStraw, an organization providing safe water for children everywhere.
Harmon plans to continue to volunteer in college and help develop Rotaract with her friends. “After college, I am not sure how I am going to volunteer my time, but when there is a will, there is a way.” She ultimately hopes to work as a kindergarten teacher and inspire the same love for volunteering in her students.