My name is Neethu Putta, and I am originally from Princeton, New Jersey. I am a rising third year at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts (very close to the city of Boston), studying International Relations and Philosophy. I’m very excited to engage in this conference–it’ll undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience.
“Why do you want to be part of this opportunity?”
It is my strong belief that civic engagement is the key to success for any community. Citizens who strive to engage themselves in their respective communities, identify all issues, and ultimately work to enact change are the citizens that build the framework for an empowered community. These are active citizens, and they are the building blocks for a cohesive and strong community. To be able to build active citizens, it is integral for higher education institutions to emphasize the importance of civic engagement in their classes and reflect this same dedication in their policies. Yet, although this policy is meant to impact students, it is rare that students have the chance to have a voice in creating it! This opportunity allows for students to have a voice in developing policy that directly affects them, and that is why I greatly hope to be a part of it. At my university, Tufts, I try to create small changes among Tufts students and show Tufts the importance of civic engagement. However, this conference is an incredible opportunity to affect change on a grand scale, and it would be an honor to be a part of it.
“What inspires you the most about the global civic engagement movement?”
What inspires me most about the global civic engagement movement is that it encourages everyone to actively engage in their communities. It recognizes that it takes all members of a community to make a difference and create sustainable change. If all members are active citizens and invested in being contributors to the community, then together, they can build a strong foundation for its success. Furthermore, I am inspired by the fact that civic engagement is not just one act of kindness. Rather, it is an attitude and a way of approaching the world. To be an active citizen, one must be dedicated to identifying and addressing all issues in a community. One must be passionate about this, and lead their life with this mindset. This means that active citizenship is a lifelong commitment, and a lifelong journey. I believe that it is integral to develop this outlook in the minds of students, as it will encourage them to adopt this active attitude for the rest of their lives.
Thanks to Tisch College of Citizenship & Public Services, The Talloires Network, and the Autonomous University of Madrid for this amazing opportunity, and I am looking forward to getting started.
Medford, MA, USA