Volunteer Spotlight: Natasha Bynum

11208043_853772694716113_96056318_n Summer (can’t stop) won’t stop our student spotlight series! June’s spotlight is Natasha Bynum, who you may recognize as CCARNYC’s Student Volunteer and Advocacy Projects Coordinator for the 2014-2015 school year. Although Natasha is moving on from Pace next year, her experience here and as an engaged citizen of the world is a great example for students everywhere. Read on to learn more about Natasha and why YOU should get involved this Fall!

How did you first get involved with service?
I first became involved with community service my junior year in high school when I decided I would volunteer at a family homeless shelter, a branch of Family of Woodstock for the summer. I volunteered my time in the childcare department, watching the children who lived there as well as sorting through donations, cleaning, and other such tasks. Since then I have volunteered at the annual Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival music festival, volunteered in an elementary school class teaching environmental awareness, and of course, facilitated multiple service events as the Student Volunteer and Advocacy Projects Coordinator at the CCAR.

How did you become involved with the CCAR?
I first became involved with the CCAR during my Pace orientation, actually. I chose to go to the CCAR’s information session about their office and civic engagement at Pace because that is what I am passionate about. I enjoyed, and thoroughly participated in, the critical discussions we had about current issues during the presentation, so when I found out they were hiring, I immediately began my application. I guess you could say the rest is history.

What motivates you to be civically engaged?
What motivates me to be civically engaged is, put simply, a sense of moral duty. At the risk of sounding self-righteous, I have decided that the best use of my time here on this planet would be to at least attempt to make some sort of positive difference.

What is an issue that you wish more students knew about?
That is a hard question because I believe in general students should know more about all of the issues facing us today. But I think it is important for students to understand completely the issue of income inequality and poverty in our country. It is important to understand because of how many other issues it affects, and vice versa. It has everything to do with racial issues, gender inequality, climate change, and even obesity. I guess what I am trying to say is that most social issues facing us today are all connected, and it is more important to know how everything affects each other.

Why do you think it’s important for students to get involved in service and activism while at Pace?
It is important for students at Pace, any everyone everywhere, to become involved in activism and service because it’s the right thing to do. It’s rewarding to feel like you are a part of something larger than yourself, and it feels good to do good deeds.

I’d like to say thank you to the CCAR and civically enaged and active students at Pace for inspiring me. I know that’s really corny, but I am genuinely impressed by all of you and the work you do. Fight the good fight!