The value of building relationships and change. Impacting the community at UC and beyond.
“It is clear to me now that I was on the road towards intentional community change work after my first ethics class during the summer of 2014 through the W.R. Crigler Program*. Here, I was offered lenses through which to think about my interests in connection with the world that I wanted to see for the first time. I was interested in what the summer could offer me both in classes and in the community, and I am grateful that I was able to find both.
The Bonner Program* allowed me to explore my passions for people and the planet, not only in the spines of my textbooks and readings, but also in the world. I was able to better understand the lived experiences of people facing homelessness, food insecurity, or practicing agricultural sustainability anywhere from 15-90 minutes from Ursinus. It allowed me to ground my classes in truth and move forward with my vocational discernment with confidence. It was not an add-on to my class schedule, it became a part of my classroom experience.
My professors served not just as depositors of knowledge, but as persons who often nurtured my spiritual growth. They helped me understand I would need to dig deep and anchor myself in my values and relationships to make the change in the world that I wanted to see. From international relations classes to religion classes, I was exposed to movement after movement for a new world that was left broken. I also saw what change could do when it was holistically realized. I was inspired to be local and think global. If I wanted my books to say something different 10 years from now, I would need to be involved in the work.
Now, I live in Atlanta, Georgia, on Muscogee (Creek) land, working on local and regional racial equity, systems change, and intentional community work for people I care about. My relationships with community members who experience inequalities are at the heart of my work. My time at Ursinus helped me cultivate, through specific programs, the answer to the question, ‘who do I want to be in the world?’ My ‘office’ and my neighborhood are one in the same. I work every day to create change in the place that I live, much in the same way I did at Ursinus. My relationships with community matter just as much as my presentations and facilitation.” - Rachael Carter ’18
The W.R. Crigler Program for Student Success* is named for Ursinus’ first African American graduate in 1956, offers a four-credit course during the summer and one credit practicum in the fall of the first semester for first-year students. In addition to the coursework, students will be given the opportunity to participate in a community service project, connect with Ursinus alumni, and attend leadership workshops.
The Bonner Program* is designed to heighten the overall education students and members receive by asking them to engage in ongoing service work and helping them develop the experience, skills, knowledge, and values necessary to make that work meaningful and lasting.