Madison Hurley is currently serving at Roger Williams University in the Feinstein Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement. In her role, Madison provides support to the non-profit community in the East Bay and Rhode Island area by matching their needs to available Roger Williams University resources – human, in-kind or financial. In addition, Madison has been the lead VISTA in introducing and promoting OrgSync, a Service Management System at RWU. OrgSync works as an online volunteer clearinghouse and agency database connecting students directly with community partners.
Host Site: Feinstein Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, Roger Williams University
Where did you go to school? Appalachian State University in Boone, NC (Go Mountaineers!)
What are your personal and professional interests? Personally, watching movies, hiking, being outdoors, baking and hanging out with dogs (and with human friends, of course!) are my jams. Personally AND professionally, I am interested in making authentic connections with others. Learning about people; who they are, why they do what they do, and how together, we all can come together and make our communities and the world at large a better place.
If you could have superpower, what would it be? SUPER-MEMORY!
Story of Service
My story of service started at Appalachian State University. As an institution that prioritizes service and hands-on learning as an integral part of higher education, I immediately felt compelled to engage in the community there. I began volunteering at a local shelter, OASIS, on their crisis line a few times a month. Even though it was difficult and emotionally draining at times, it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. It made me realize how unique and valuable each person’s life is and that I want to be someone who is there to lift up others and help them realize that, as well. I worked with such intelligent, passionate, and inspiring people and had never encountered such challenges, but that was just the motivation I needed.
From here on I volunteered at the advising office in my academic department and enrolled in a service-learning course for which I partnered with an organization focused on youth development. With all of these experiences, the one common thread was that each gave me a chance to make connections with others, helping them to find their higher potential while providing continuous learning experiences.
After graduating from Appalachian State University, I knew what I enjoyed from the undergraduate experiences I had there, but not exactly how to channel them into a specific career path. I felt lost and very uncertain of myself, of my future. I had heard about AmeriCorps from a few friends, who suggested it as the perfect next step based on my previous service experience. I looked on the website at all the different ways I could serve and found endless possibilities, which thankfully brought me to Campus Compact. I see my service as a way to continue my education; to learn more about the world around me, while learning about myself and where I want to go.
I feel that through this continued education, I can impact poverty. I’ve learned so much about what poverty means, who is affected, and how it is addressed in our country. This is a small first step, but a necessary one, I think. It’s only the beginning, but I hope that as I learn more and acknowledge my own privilege, I build confidence to use that privilege; to find opportunities to advocate for those who are experiencing low opportunity and to support changes to public policies that lead to or perpetuate the systemic, societal cycle of poverty.
To learn more about Madison’s work, visit the RWU Feinstein Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement or contact Madison.