Campus Compact, a national alliance of over 1,000 colleges, works to expand the idea of civic engagement in the college community. They host several initiatives every year to fuel campus’ involvement in their surrounding community. Of these initiatives is the Newman Civic Fellows Award.
Jacob Huffman, a sophomore at UNC Charlotte is one of the 11 N.C. Newman Civic Fellows. Huffman, a member of the first class of Levine Scholars, is a double German and Geography major focusing on Geographic Information Systems in regional planning and struggling to master German preterite.
Huffman was meeting with the Levine Scholarship Director Dr. Diane Zablotsky, discussing summer internships, when she brought up nominating him for the award. He accepted the offer and together they constructed his résumé, which consisted of his various past and present civic engagements. Zablotsky sent the nomination to the program and soon afterward Huffman was receiving congratulations and well wishes for being named a Newman Civic Fellow.
Huffman, who was born and raised in Charlotte, N.C., says his ties to his community are top notch on his list of priorities. Community bonds are more important than things such as hobbies, academics and friends.
“I’d say [Campus Contact] is all about grassroots efforts and students who are committed to community engagement, something that I am certainly very big on,” said Huffman. “It’s one of those aspects of my character that is very difficult for me to express because it takes on so many different forms in my life.”
He has been involved with a variety of different volunteer organizations. The philanthropic organization that has mattered most to him is the Habitat for Humanity. He feels it is important to have a place to belong in this world, which is why he believes Habitat for Humanity is important.
“A home is where a person develops those first social bonds we mammals are so fond of creating,” said Huffman. “Habitat is all about providing a strong, healthy environment for a family to build those bonds.”
Huffman also finds the power of music to stimulate growth. For two years now he has been a part of a student-led nonprofit organization called Concerts and Causes.
“One half of our mission is to raise support and awareness of local and national non-profit organizations,” he said. “The other half is about strengthening the bonds throughout the university area and greater Charlotte community.”