UMW News BureauUniversity of Montana Western sophomore Sarah Foster was recently named a 2012 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact. UMW NEWS BUREAU [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="167" caption="Sarah Foster."][/caption] University of Montana Western sophomore Sarah Foster was recently named a 2012 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact. The Newman Civic Fellow award recognizes students working to address solutions to challenges facing their communities. Campus Compact is a national coalition of almost 1,200 college and university presidents representing over 6,000 students. The organization works to advance the civic purposes of higher education, improving community life and educating students for civic and social responsibility. The University of Montana Western Campus Corps team is the local affiliate of Campus Compact. Foster is one of 162 students nationwide to be honored as a Newman Civic Fellow. Campus Compact recognized the 20-year old biology major for her many volunteer contributions, including her efforts at her chosen service site, the South Central Montana Area Health Education Center (AHEC). The South Central Montana AHEC works to improve the supply and distribution of healthcare professionals. Foster plans to attend medical school after earning her bachelor’s degree from Montana Western. Foster’s volunteer efforts go far beyond the AHEC and reveal a deeply instilled ethic of selfless service. Campus Compact participants need to complete 315 volunteer hours as a minimum term of service, but Foster said she hopes to have gone above and beyond the required service term with over 100 additional hours by the end of summer.
“My family instilled in me at a very early age that giving back to the community and others is just what you do,” Foster said. “I don’t think there’s anything equivalent to the feeling of seeing a smile on someone’s face when you have helped them and know you made a difference in the community.”“My family instilled in me at a very early age that giving back to the community and others is just what you do,” Foster said. “I don’t think there’s anything equivalent to the feeling of seeing a smile on someone’s face when you have helped them and know you made a difference in the community.” Foster serves directly at her service site with other regular weekly service opportunities to help meet the needs of her community. She has also assisted with Red Cross disaster preparedness projects, the Montana Western Campus Community Garden, the Women’s Resource Center, Veterans’s Day breakfasts and local food drives for the Beaverhead Community Food Pantry. Foster said she hopes her efforts help to better connect Montana Western and the local community. “It’s much bigger than the University,” she explained. “It lets the community know that students are not just here to get a degree but are also here to give back to the community.” For all her recent accolades, Foster credited the Montana Western Campus Corps team for much of her recognition. “My efforts could not have been accomplished without the effort of the entire team,” she added. “Campus Corps is such a great organization. I’m really grateful to coordinator Ilene Cohen, Corps leader Cheyanne Marcy and all members of Campus Corps.”