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YPEI Alum and Fellow Marcus Harvin Featured on UNH Blog

For Marcus Harvin ’25, volunteering with Neighborhood Housing Services in New Haven this summer wasn’t just a rewarding chance to serve the local community. It was an opportunity to serve his community – the community he grew up in.

As a member of the University’s President’s Public Service Fellowship (PPSF) program, Harvin, a native of New Haven, Conn., immersed himself in giving back to and connecting with the community. He recently shared his experiences in the program, from cleaning up the grounds of an elementary school to what he gained by giving back, with his fellow Chargers.

“I was putting my hands in the ground to serve the community, the community where I began,” said Harvin, who is pursuing a degree in general studies. “This is the embodiment of who I am. I hope to give those who come after me a better start than I had.”

Harvin was among the half dozen students who took part in the President’s Public Service Fellowship over the summer. The Fellows shared their experiences in the program as part of a recent presentation on campus.

Nicole Harry ’23, ’25 M.S. moderated the discussion.

For Harvin, his service didn’t just reflect where he came from – it also was indicative of the future he is creating. As he told members of the University community, he is a convicted felon who has now been out of prison less than 18 months. He was a member of the University’s Prison Education Program and the Yale Prison Education Initiative’s inaugural graduating class this past spring. After graduating with his associate degree, he’s continuing his education at the University.

“This has given me the opportunity to realize I can work in ways I haven’t before,” he said. “The University opened doors for me and didn’t judge me. My route to the University was an alternative route, but I’ve been welcomed.”

The program places undergraduate and graduate students of all programs of study in a nonprofit or public service work environment. Students build their skills and develop an understanding for and appreciation of the importance of public service.

“You represent the best of what we do at the University,” said Sheahon Zenger, Ph.D., interim president of the University, to the Fellows. “This is experiential education. This is it. You make us so proud.”


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