OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego senior Sahar Rajput, long committed to community service, recently earned a Newman Civic Fellowship, one of only 273 such honors the Campus Compact awarded in 39 states and Washington, D.C.
In nominating Rajput, college President Deborah F. Stanley wrote, “Sahar has worked tirelessly to develop programs that promote community engagement and provide meaningful opportunities for her peers to get involved in building the capacity of community-based organizations.”
Among the many accomplishments leading to Rajput’s nomination and selection, she established and now coordinates a program to transport disabled adults from ARC of Oswego County to the college and other venues for educational and recreational opportunities; co-coordinates the college’s and Oswego City School District’s Mentor Oswego program; and helps lead SUNY Oswego’s Office of Community Services as student president of Community Services.
Rajput, a communication and social interaction major from Scotia, expressed delight at the 2017-18 learning, networking and post-graduate opportunities afforded to Newman Civic Fellows.
“It’s pretty amazing,” said Rajput, who also has minors in psychology and business administration. “Christy (Huynh of the Office of Career Services) told me about it and I was really excited.”
Rajput began working with disabled adults in high school. She saw a similar chance to enhance lives here and, with the help of student co-coordinators, now does the planning and logistical work needed to provide such outings as hiking the trails and touring collections at Rice Creek Field Station, watching movies and playing video games and participating in an artistic painting party.
A former mentor and tutor, Rajput now manages the100 students involved in the college’s Adopt-a-Grandparent program for senior adults and the 95 in Mentor Oswego, which connects college students as positive role models and mentors with local schoolchildren and adolescents in Oswego County.
Rajput now is helping plan Adopt-a-Grandparent’s Senior Ball, a much-anticipated annual event with catered food, live music and dancing.
Campus Compact, a national coalition of nearly 1,000 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education, provides learning opportunities to build skills Newman Civic Fellows need in order to serve as effective agents of change.
Newman Civic Fellows attend an annual conference, this year scheduled for Nov. 17 and 18 in Boston and have access to scholarships and a network of past honorees and others focused on building campus-community partnerships to address public problems and build equitable communities.
The fellowships honor Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, who was a passionate advocate for broadening opportunities for diverse and economically challenged students to have access to a college education.
He was equally passionate in his advocacy for educating students to fulfill their roles as active citizens.