What is civic engagement and how can you help Cleveland’s Community?

By: Samantha Meisenburg

According to Civic Responsibility and Higher Education by Thomas Ehrlich, civic engagement is “working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference.” Volunteering and participating in your community come with many positives. The skills learned through civic engagement are beneficial to you personally and professionally.


When engaged in your community you’ll gain confidence, improve your communication skills, learn to network and understand what it’s like to be part of a team. All of these skills are needed in the workplace. You’ll need confidence in your volunteer and career work and confidence if you introduce yourself to your CEO, someone else in the C-suite or other volunteers. When involved with civic engagement, you’ll be working with other people, so you can network with other volunteers and perfect your communication skills. Lastly, you’ll understand what it’s like to be a team player. You’re working with other people who have a shared common goal of bettering the lives, environment and animals around you. 


By becoming civically engaged in your community you are growing as a person and becoming socially aware. You’ll enhance the lively hood of those and things around you who need assistance from others. Not only are you helping yourself, you are also helping the community. You are making a change for the better while allowing your voice to be heard because you are speaking out and helping out a cause you’re passionate about; it is something to be proud of.


Once you made the decision to better yourself and your career, you need to pick the route you want to go to become civically engaged. Do you want the hands-on volunteering, volunteering for a non-profit or pro bono consulting? Do you only have time for a couple hours a day or can you volunteer for a week? You need to do your research and see which type of volunteering will work best to enrich your career and personal goals.

If you’re ready to make the first step toward becoming civically engaged, check out our civic engagement board to find new, fun and exciting opportunities.

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Samantha Meisenburg graduated from Kent State University with a Public Relations degree this past May. She was born in Buffalo, New York and moved to the west side of Cleveland when she was three-years-old. While attending Kent State, Samantha studied abroad in Florence, Italy for four months where she got to explore many cities in Italy and travel to ten different countries in Europe. In her free time, she loves to travel, hike, read, try new restaurants, go to sporting events and concerts, and spend quality time with friends and family. Samantha has a dream to one day work and live in New York City. As a recent college graduate, she wanted to work for Engage! Cleveland to help other young professionals network and show them why Cleveland is a great city.   

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