In November, Hamdan Ahmed ’20 joined his cohort of 2019-20 Newman Civic Fellows for a weekend-long exploration of national and international policy at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate in Boston, Mass.
“During the conference, we discussed strategies to tackle different social issues and participated in a simulation of passing a bill through the Senate,” says Ahmed, who earlier this year was named a Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education.
A computer science major who grew up in Pakistan, Ahmed says that “with no prior background in politics, I certainly learned a lot from this experience. The most impactful part was meeting problem-solvers from around the nation and learning about their experiences and their contributions to the community.”
The Newman Civic Fellowship is a prestigious honor that recognizes students who work to find solutions for challenges facing their community. The fellowship provides training and resources that nurture students’ assets and passions and helps them develop strategies to achieve social change.
Ahmed, who is one of only 262 students nationwide who make up this year’s cohort, plans to hold tech summits and after-school sessions this winter at Geneva High School and the Boys & Girls Club of Geneva, to teach programming skills to high school students and ensure they are prepared for college-level research and internship opportunities. He will also help write résumés for those experiencing homelessness in the Finger Lakes region.
On campus, Ahmed supports fellow international students, making Friday prayer more accessible for Muslim students, recently organizing the first Diwali celebration at HWS and hosting a large multicultural dinner on campus. He also helped organize the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning’s Alternative Spring Break programs for the 2018-19 academic year.
The Newman Civic Fellowship, named for Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, is a one-year experience emphasizing personal, professional and civic growth for students who have demonstrated a capacity for leadership and an investment in solving public problems. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference. The program also affords fellows with access to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities. The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.
In this Campus Compact video, Ahmed is featured at :36.
Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. Campus Compact supports institutions in fulfilling their public purposes by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility.