HIGH POINT, N.C., March 23, 2018 – High Point University sophomore Douglas McCollum is a recipient of the 2018 Newman Civic Fellowship from Campus Compact. This national award honors college student leaders for their dedicated passion to service, research and advocacy for challenges facing communities throughout the country.
McCollum, a strategic communication major from High Point, is a Bonner Leader at HPU. Through this program, he provides more than 200 hours of service to the local community each year. He is also a Say Yes/First Generation Scholar.
“Through the Bonner Leader program, I’m learning more about my passions as an individual and as someone who wants to continue to impact a community,” says McCollum. “My service comes in the form of speaking, sharing and teaching. Often, I am in the community performing for other people, or speaking to children about poetry, or being involved with and helping run poetry workshops.”
For the last two years, McCollum has worked at the Community Writing Center in Mt. Zion Baptist Church as the middle school coordinator. There, he mentors and tutors students in English and reading during the after-school program. Working with the writing center is an experience McCollum says allows him to see the areas he traversed as a child through a different lens.
“I’ve found myself being the mouthpiece for problems and perspectives that many people don’t get to hear, refuse to talk about, or don’t want to recognize,” he says. “All I’ve ever done in my service is share with others what I myself was afraid to share. Through that, I’ve made connections and built a strength and essence that is difficult to break or combat.”
McCollum is a spoken word poet and shares that passion with the students he mentors. He is a founding member of the Poetry Project at High Point Central High School and runs poetry workshops through the organization in Greensboro.
Newman Civic Fellows are recommended for the award by their college or university president.
“Douglas is active in serving his community along with providing insights into deeper systemic issues through his performance of the spoken word,” says Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president. “He is involved with the Poetry Project, an organization with which he collaborates and lends his talent to those in the community.”
McCollum is featured on the Campus Compact national website along with other 2018 Newman Civic Fellows student leaders. He will participate in a one-year experience emphasizing a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate and regional gatherings of Newman Civic Fellows.
Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities committed to campus-based civic engagement. The Newman Civic Fellows Award honors one of the organization’s founders, the late Frank Newman, and is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.