An unbounded desire to serve communities in need

Gifts to the Dartmouth College Fund help make great things happen for our students. Here is one of their stories.
Sabyne Pierre

Sabyne Pierre ’20 is a government major from Newark, New Jersey. She is a 2018 Newman Civic Fellowship recipient, has mentored high school students in the Bronx, and participated in the Matariki Network of Universities’ Global Citizenship Forum, held in New Zealand. She hopes to work in community service after graduation.

I chose to attend Dartmouth because of all of the resources we have here, such as the First-Year Student Enrichment Program (FYSEP). There is an actual support system for first generation, low-income students here—not a lot of other schools have that.

It has been nice to find a community of these students. We come from all different parts of the world, which is cool. Sometimes we get together for informal dinners or we go to each other’s places. I’m part of Student Assembly as a Partnerships in Programming officer. Our group has been working on food insecurity on campus among this group, and we are creating a campus-wide food pantry to help over the interims.

The financial assistance I have received from Dartmouth has opened doors to so many opportunities for me. I wouldn’t have been able to attend without it.

I was awarded a 2018 Newman Civic Fellowship, which lasts for one year. Jay Davis, the director of FYSEP, recommended me for the fellowship. My focus changes often, because I’ll learn about some specific issue and I’m like, “Oh, this is so cool and important, I want to be a part of this.” And then I’ll learn about something else: “Oh, this is so important.” Right now, I’m really interested in working with something like the Innocence Project. I have been reaching out to Innocence Projects across America.

This past winter term, I took off from classes to mentor ten students at the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics. The school was very similar to my high school—predominantly Hispanic and black—so it was like being back home.

I helped mentor these students in academics, but also talked to them about college access and SAT prep, how to find colleges online, and how to find out what they are interested in, getting them to start thinking about what is important for them beginning their junior year.

Throughout my internship experiences, the Center for Social Impact has trained us in motivational interviewing and listening. This has taught me how to listen before I even try to provide any sort of advice or mentorship. Because a good leader needs be a good listener, and sometimes just listening can be the solution.

This summer I went to New Zealand to take part in the Global Citizenship Forum presented by the Matariki Network of Universities. It was an awesome experience. Several colleges, in Australia, Sweden, the U.K., Canada, and the United States, are part of the network, connecting similar communities around social issues. We presented information on the Upper Valley community and Dartmouth College, and told them about the Center for Social Impact, and they were like, “Oh, that’s a great idea. Why don’t we have that?” They told us about projects that would be helpful for us to bring back here. We also got a chance to visit the native community in Otago to learn about their interactions with local non-native peoples.

What’s next? I hope to apply to the Newman Foundation after the fellowship, where they match you with a non-profit and you work for a year after college. I want to learn more about Newman Civic Fellows and meet other students when I go to their conference in the fall. After I graduate, the goal is to work for a non-profit organization somewhere.