Students teamed up with Maxwell Akuamoah-Boateng ’09 to volunteer at schools in Philadelphia over winter break.
Nine students spent part of their winter break teaming up with Maxwell Akuamoah-Boateng ’09 on a community service project in Philadelphia. Akuamoah-Boateng, who serves as the city’s director of operations for community schools, organized the Alternate Break (AXB) trip that focused on youth engagement/urban service. AXB service trips are programs offered through Community Outreach and Opportunity Project (COOP), which he was involved with as a student.

He described how the service opportunity came to be, after Director of Community Outreach Amy James contacted him to discuss an “urban youth” trip.  “It just happened that my team has been working to engage our university partners around volunteer opportunities as this is great strategy for also exposing our students to college and career opportunities,” Akuamoah-Boateng said.

AXB students outside of Hamilton Disston School in Philadelphia.
AXB students outside of Hamilton Disston School in Philadelphia.

The students volunteered at community schools throughout Philadelphia and also at the nonprofit Feast of Justice, where city residents can go grocery shopping for free. Students volunteered on Monday through Friday, and enjoyed sightseeing and bowling on Saturday.

Akuamoah-Boateng said the students completed a lot more than anticipated. “We initially planned for them to support food distributions and organization of clothing closets….And they ended up not only doing that, they also painted, interacted with students, tutored students, shared insights about college as panelist, and definitely represented Hamilton in a very positive light as they navigated their way to local restaurants and shops for dinner.” 

The student volunteers stayed at All Saints Episcopal Church where they slept in sleeping bags, cooked dinner together, played card games, and watched movies. “It was a great opportunity to get to know people in other classes who are passionate about doing service,” said Jenna McCarthy’23, co-leader along with Prabin Khadka ’24.

Akuamoah-Boateng concluded,  “[I’m] very thankful for the opportunity to kick off this volunteer project and partnership with Hamilton, the school that afforded me the opportunity to learn how to serve others with my gifts and talents. Hopefully this opportunity continues to afford others the experiences that will shape their careers for years to come.”

Expand Your Perspectives

It may sound cliché, but at Hamilton you’ll find opportunities to “step outside your comfort zone.” In addition to meeting people from a variety of backgrounds, you’ll be encouraged to pursue different experiences. 

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