Interview by: Amy Wang
September 27, 2017
Lisa Carle is a graduating Oberlin College class of 2018student. She is a Bonner Scholar, and she has been volunteering in Oberlin Early Childhood Center since her freshman year. During this interview, Lisa brought in her perspectives on the relationship between Oberlin students and Oberlin Community. Lisa is very interested in kids’ development and nutrition, and she is hoping to become a doctor in the future.
Q: Have you volunteered before you came to Oberlin? And if so, how is the volunteer experience in Oberlin different from your past experience?
A: I volunteered back in high school. After the March 11th earthquake and Tsunami happened in Japan, I went to the sites and helped clean up the rice farms, and I did charity work occasionally. At Oberlin it’s been different because you see yourself more like a community partner rather than somebody who is volunteering to do people a favor. I sign up for these responsibilities, and I have to do my part to fulfill it. My perception changed. I am more engaged in the community and participating in it, rather than I am above it.
"At Oberlin it’s been different because you see yourself more like a community partner rather than somebody who is volunteering to do people a favor."
Q: Do you think Oberlin College students should volunteer more? Why and how?
A: Yes, OC students should definitely be more involved in volunteering in towns. However, I think that it would be really beneficial if students were volunteering consistently throughout the year. Showing up once a year or spontaneously will not be ideally. For me, I started to see all the repercussion of what I do in Oberlin. There were a lot of times that I am not aware of events that are happening in the town, and I just let them happen by not being involved in them. It’s also just kind of messed up to be in this town for four years and take everything from them but not trying to participate. After these three years, I learned more about the town, and I am more aware of my impact on everyone else in the town.
Q: Do you think the community also appreciate student volunteer in towns and all the works we have been doing?
A: Yes, for sure. People in the town always say that too. For every sites that I have been, people always appreciate and recognize the effort and commitment that student volunteers have put in. I think the students who do involve themselves do really well, but I just don’t think there is enough of them.
"The Bonner Scholar program emphasizes the fact that everyone can be an influential person."
Q: So you are a Bonner Scholar right ? What do you think of this program? Did this experience change you in some way?
A: Bonner Center have set up expectations that I probably would have never thought that I could achieve, pushing me to the right direction. It also consistently makes me reflect on my actions and how they can have an impact on others. The (Bonner Scholar) program emphasizes the fact that everyone can be an influential person. It also makes you learn to control your influences and make it the best you can.