Service programs are an important component of Alexa Bannon’s life. She’s worked with local organizations and traveled abroad. She’s coordinated educational opportunities for students seeking affordable housing, and staffed community kitchens to feed those experiencing hunger.
“I remain committed to my service programs, both on and off campus,” said Bannon, a second-year psychology major at La Salle University.
Bannon this month learned she had been selected for the 2020 Newman Civic Fellowship, a national program that recognizes college students from Campus Compact member institutions. Campus Compact, a coalition of colleges and universities, supports institutions in fulfilling public purpose and deepening their ability to improve community life and educate students on civic and social responsibility.
“All of the resources and opportunities the Fellowship provides will allow me to expand my knowledge of service, civic duty, and civic leadership so I can better serve the La Salle community and Philadelphia area,” Bannon said.
The Newman Civic Fellowship identifies students who are leaders, changemakers, and public problem-solvers on their campuses, and who demonstrate a commitment to finding solutions for challenges that face communities locally, nationally, and internationally.
Bannon is one of 290 students who comprise the 2020 Fellowship cohort, representing 39 states and Washington, D.C., as well as Greece, Lebanon, and Mexico.
The yearlong program gives students access to learning, networking, and scholarship opportunities that support their development as personal, professional, and civic leaders.
“I am grateful and honored to be recognized for the efforts that I have put into service, but I don’t do service to be recognized or awarded honors; I do it because I truly feel that the injustices our world sees on a daily basis are unfair to oppressed communities,” said Bannon, a native of Langhorne, Pa. “I hope through my continued commitment to learning about social issues and ways to find solutions, that I will be able to help others find their place in society to make a positive impact.”
Bannon coordinates Pheed Philadelphia, a program that brings La Salle students to community kitchens in the city’s Germantown and Kensington sections three to five times each week to support those experiencing food insecurity, hunger, homelessness, and poverty. She represents La Salle’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity, leading fundraising and advocation for affordable housing in the region.
Last year, Bannon participated in a three-week immersion trip to Nyeri, Kenya, as part of the University’s Lasallian Immersion and Volunteer Experience (L.I.V.E.) program. She is coordinating a domestic L.I.V.E. trip this year to Clarkston, Ga., to learn more about refugee resettlement. She also volunteers regularly with Special Olympics.
“The stories of this year’s Newman Civic Fellows make clear that they are committed to finding solutions to pressing problems in their communities and beyond,” said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn.
“Alexa is not afraid of asking the big, impertinent questions. She constantly asks herself how she can best be of service to the communities in which she works and takes time to reflect on her experiences,” said Regina Gauss Kosiek, Director of La Salle’s University Ministry Service and Support. “Alexa’s commitment to creating a more just society and her quiet, unassuming leadership are what led her to La Salle and what allow her to thrive here. While at La Salle, Alexa has helped students discover need and injustice in the Philadelphia region and to uncover these same issues across the United States and abroad.”
—Christopher A. Vito