The Center for Civic Engagement wrapped up its first Civically Engaged Young Alumni Week, which brought Northwestern alumni back to campus to speak with students about citizenship and career choices.
“The conference is a chance for students to see and hear from young alumni about how they’ve incorporated their academic experiences into issues they care about,” said Medill senior Asha Toulmin, a Center for Civic Engagement student fellow.
In addition to keynote speaker Will Butler of Arcade Fire, the conference consisted of seven panel events. Alumni spoke at sessions hosted by each undergraduate school and a special session on global health. Each included a panel of three to four young alumni and a reception.
Center for Civic Engagement program assistant David Unger explained that the conference was a way to work closely with young alumni in their twenties and thirties.
“We wanted to keep it young so current students could listen to this story and say, ‘I could be this story; I could be this in five to ten years,’” Unger said.
SESP senior Stephanie Arias, who hopes to work with undocumented immigrant students, was encouraged by the panelists’ experiences.
“I’m walking away from this thinking about the possibility that I can pursue what I’m interested in,” Arias said.
Panelist Kathy Chan (WCAS ‘01), an associate director for the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition, said she had the same questions as many of the audience members did when she graduated.
“I want to provide resources to students so students don’t feel the same way as I did here, which was frustrated,” she said.
Editor’s note: Asha Toulmin is a former staffer at North by Northwestern, which also helped to sponsor the Medill alumni panel.