Dream Project

One of our members, Phoebe Ampo, is willing to help connect other students with an opportunity to help first generation college students. She is happy to answer any questions you may have and help you get involved. You can reach Phoebe via email at ampo@uw.edu :

The Dream Project’s mission is to help low-income and first-generation high school students in achieving their dreams of higher education. The Dream Project works in conjunction with high schools in surrounding areas to provide assistance in the college application process to high school seniors. They do this by visiting high schools on a weekly basis and working with students on all aspects of the college application process like revising their personal statements and giving information about scholarships and financial aid.

In order to be a part of the club you have to sign up for a class (EDUC 260), which will inform you on how to better assist the students and give you important information to pass on to the students. You will also need to sign up for a weekly high school visitation time (EDUC 369). Transportation to the high schools will be provided and the club will require around four to six hours of your time a week and it really is time well spent because you’ll be able to help so many students gain access to higher education.

- Phoebe Ampo

Service Opportunity: Mentoring Local Youth

It is about that time again to start planning your schedule for the next school year. Starting in the fall, the Northshore School District is offering you the chance to give back to the community, while acting as a mentor to local youth. They have opportunities for you to get involved both inside and outside of the classroom to provide support and encouragement to young students, while developing your own listening skills and empathy.

This is a great opportunity to serve as a positive role model and truly make a difference in someone's life. They are accepting students from the University of Washington Bothell for roles in a variety of locations. Some of the positions include:

Hang-Time Mentor: act as a mentor to 7th, 8th, and 9th graders during an after-school program by acting as tutors, small group facilitators, and role models.

Classroom Mentor: You will attend certain class periods with students, at various junior high/high schools. You will have the chance to work together with teachers to help students succeed.

North Shore Junior High Titan Time Mentoring: You will have the chance to work with students at risk of failing classes. You can provide tutoring, and help to lead and inspire students towards positive outcomes. This will give you the opportunity to work in challenging situations, while developing empathy and active listening skills.

After-School Homework Center Tutoring: You can put your University education to good use by providing drop in tutoring support to students who need it at local Bothell schools. You will act not only to help the students learn the material so that they can pass their classes, but also serve as a positive role model to local youth.

If you think you might be interested, or if you just want more information just send an email to Ashley MacKinen (ashleymackinen@gmail.com). She is happy to help answer any questions that you may have or to connect you with the NorthShore community school district. 

Service Spotlight: Thread & Treads With A.C.T.

Students Affecting Change collaborated with another great community minded organization, Achieving Community Transformation, to volunteer for Threads and Treads. Threads and Treads takes donated clothing and makes it available free of charge to those who are in financial need within our community. This gives junior high school students, and their families, a chance to get the clothing they need for the school year. Having a warm coat to get through the winter is something that many of us take for granted. Threads and Treads is leading an effort in our community to make sure that is a reality for all children.

When you volunteer for this organization, you sort out clothing, replenish the racks in the shopping center, and aid those in need of guidance. This is a wonderful opportunity to give back to those in the community. Anyone who is interested is able to volunteer on Thursday’s from 4:00-6:00PM, and can contact me for more information on how to get involved.

Spending time with Linh Huynh, Marielle Jardiel, Auzeen Rasaie of the Achieving Community Transformation team was a wonderful experience. Their compassion and leadership was something that we can all learn from. They are a great organization that helps to plan group volunteer opportunities, where students are able to give back to their community and connect with their peers. You can connect with their A.C.T. by clicking here.

            ­- Ashley MacKinen

 Marielle Jardiel,        Linh Huynh,  Ashley MacKinen, Tate Higgins, Justin Thompson     Photo credit:    Marielle Jardiel

 Marielle Jardiel,  Linh Huynh, Ashley MacKinen, Tate Higgins, Justin Thompson    Photo credit: Marielle Jardiel

Community Health Center Volunteering Opportunity

The HealthPoint Community Health Center (Bothell) has agreed to take on a few compassionate volunteers from our organization, who are willing to make a commitment towards helping them better serve our community. Their clinic is located within walking distance of the University of Washington Bothell, on Beardslee Blvd.

Health Point is a non-profit Community Health Center providing care to patients in the greater Seattle area. They provide access to quality treatment to all people, regardless of their income status. They help care for the uninsured, and provide them support in obtaining free or reduced cost health insurance.

I have been volunteering at HealthPoint Bothell for almost a year now. The staff is very welcoming to volunteers, and are truly great people to work with. I have had the chance to talk to and help hundreds of patients, and consider my time at Health Point to be an invaluable learning experience.

As a future health care professional, I think it is very important to learn what it really means to serve—to be compassionate and empathetic.

Medicine is not what it is portrayed to be on television, and so it is critical that anyone thinking about a career in the field seek out experiences that allow them to get a sense of what it really means to be a part of a Health-Care team. There are many small steps that must take place before any positive health outcome can be realized. The benefit of volunteering at a small clinic, like HealthPoint, is that you get the chance work alongside of the medical staff, something that is hard to find in a large hospital. HealthPoint offers a glimpse into what life as a primary care provider is really like, and their team of skilled providers set a great example of compassionate service. 

If you would like to find out more information, and how to volunteer:

Please send an email to Justin Thompson (put HealthPoint in the subject line).


Service Spotlight: The Husky 5k

The Husky 5K is a race hosted by the UW Bothell Alumni Council. The proceeds are used to fund student scholarships, and the event has raised $100,000 over the past ten years. Scholarships enable students, who otherwise would not have been able to attend college, to have the chance to pursue an education, and help enhance diversity within the University. Students Affecting Change worked with the UW Bothell alumni council to help staff the race staff with volunteers. 

Some compassionate and motivated Students Affecting Change members volunteered their time last Saturday to help out with the race.

Our Director of Project Management, Erica Qiao, ran the 5k. Brittney Phanivong, Phoebe Ampo, and Madison Bertrand manned water stations, running back and forth throughout, to make sure the runners got water as they were sprinting by. Ashley Thundiyil assisted with check in, and passed out gear to the participants. Erica, Brittney, Phoebe, Madison, and Ashley all took time out of their busy schedules to support a great cause, and did a wonderful job representing us at the Husky 5k. 

What is Compassion?

Our principle goal here at Students Affecting Change is to cultivate compassion in future professionals. But what is compassion really? Here is a great explanation from a journal article entitled Compassion and The Art of Family Medicine, available on the Medscape website (1):

"Compassion involves both sympathy and empathy. Sympathy could be described as involving compassion but not passion. Sympathy is the sharing or understanding of the feelings of another person. Empathy, derived from the German EinfüAduhlung, which means "feeling into," involves a closer and more involved understanding and identification with another person."

Emma Sepala, a researcher at Stanford goes further to define compassion as "the emotional response when perceiving suffering and involves an authentic desire to help." (2) 

What is all of this getting at? The authors are describing the important distinctions between many of the adjectives used to describe what compels us to help the less fortunate. A synthesis of the two definitions would imply that compassion involves both having an emotional connection to a particular circumstance, as well as the determination to do something about it. In even more simplistic terms, it is caring action.

For those of us entering into medical professions, fields notorious for provider burnout and fatigue, it is imperative that we first explore our ability to be compassionate. However, this extends beyond just those interested in the medical field. I believe that having a sense of purpose in life is a critical step towards achieving happiness and fulfillment, for anyone. It is through caring and empathetic action, compassion, that we begin to build that meaning into our lives.

Let's all ask ourselves:

How can we demonstrate compassion today?

How can we affect positive change in our community?


- Justin Thompson


(1)Rakel, Robert E. "Compassion and the Art of Family Medicine: From Osler to Oprah". J Am Board Fam Med. 2000;13(6)    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/405817_2

(2) Seppala, Emma. "The Compassionate Mind". Association for Psychological Science: Observer. June 2013.