Mike Kelly, a senior biochemistry major, has been a force for philanthropy in the Colgate community as a leader of the COVE group, Colgate Hunger Outreach Program (CHOP).
The native New Yorker first became involved in CHOP during his first year, after learning about the program through his Outreach pre-orientation. He spent his first year in the program volunteering weekly at the Friendship Inn and during his sophomore year was promoted to the leadership position he holds today.
Kelly’s primary role in leading this program is to “work to ensure that we are providing as much quality direct service to our local community as we can and attempt to further educate the Colgate community about the issues of poverty and hunger.”
In his past couple of years with CHOP, the program has shifted more toward the educational aspect of the CHOP mission. Initiatives such as “Scrape the Plate at Frank Dining Hall to highlight food waste at Colgate and collaborating with like-minded groups for our annual Hunger and Homelessness week coming up in November” help in this endeavor, according to Kelly.
His involvement in CHOP has also enabled Kelly to form multilateral connections in the Colgate community. Kelly has worked “not only with other COVE groups, but also athletic teams and Greek organizations on campus to plan and host events that work toward helping our local Hamilton Food Cupboard.”
Kelly also connects with his fellow students through athletics as the captain of the men’s club soccer team.
Yet Kelly insists that the impact Colgate has made on him is equally as profound as what he has provided the school with.
“I have learned that, at Colgate, the most important thing one can do is to learn about themselves. Once you find out what you are passionate about, pour yourself into what you love,” Kelly said. “Your experience at Colgate is completely what you make of it, and nothing will make your experience more rewarding than doing what you feel most passionate about.”
Post-graduation, Kelly will be attending the University of Rochester Medical school, but he is “hoping to defer for a year to continue working more directly in the community, possibly with a program like CityYear or Americorps.”
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