McGinty, a junior who has been involved with the organization since her freshman year, talks about what she learned while working with the Elon Volunteers! and the Kernodle Center for Civic Life.
The Kernodle Center for Civic Life inspires, educates, and prepares students and Elon’s campus to partner with diverse communities to address local and global challenges. Thanks to Elon Volunteers!, the center is a hub of service on campus, enabling Elon students to participate in a variety of programming. All of this would not be possible without the hard work of the center’s 100 or so student leaders, as it is entirely student-led and run.
Nicole McGinty, a junior from Massachusetts, is an Elon volunteer! executive director of communications and education. She studies public health with a sociocultural emphasis and studies statistics, wellness and health, and poverty and social justice issues, and she is involved in the Elon Volunteers! from the first year.
“Freshman year I first got involved, it was like COVID 2020, so the campus was kind of weird and it was hard to meet people,” McGinty said. “I worked a lot on the farm and I think that’s when I first broke into the Kernodle Center.”
McGinty began building a sense of community at the center and continued to volunteer at various sites. She began showing interest in leadership positions her sophomore year, organized an alternative spring break, and became the coordinator of a new partnership at the Kernodle Center.
“Last year I was also one of the coordinators of the City Gate Dream Center, which was a new partnership last year. So it was interesting to look at it from the ground up,” McGinty said.
Her leadership and passion for Elon volunteers! continued to develop as she worked in the community. She became interested in doing more internal work at the center as executive director so she could find ways to further the progress of the organization she cared for.
“My role in education is to train leaders before they go out into society. So, just going internal and working together with the professional staff and executive directors to facilitate Elon’s volunteers!” she said.
Developing the organization, volunteers of Ilona! Elon’s experience also helped her a lot. McGinty plans to conduct research with one of the program’s partners, City Gate Dream Center, with whom she has worked closely since her sophomore year.