McClellan Society

Sid '20
At Lawrenceville, students are honored for their dedication to community service by being inducted into the McClellan Society. The Society is named after former Lawrenceville Head Master Bruce McClellan, who introduced the community service requirement to the School. Membership to the McClellan Society is based on significant commitment to community service. I am a recent inductee and the McClellan Society has shined light upon how important community service is to Lawrentians.

In my view, community service is the selfless act of putting the needs of others before your own. More importantly, community services enables us to view the world through a global lens to gain perspective on issues that are important and require aid. It is a function of generosity, a worldly perspective, and a fervent passion to initiate change.These factors, instilled within students, are what mold future leaders and allow for them to interact with their communities through service. Martin Luther King Jr. once said,“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

People are often blinded by their own issues when, in reality, there are many others that face truly pressing problems that don’t allow them access to basic necessities. In a successful society, the more fortunate must take the time to help those who are in need. The aim is to benefit the greater good and to keep certain things intact, things like humility and compassion. Community service is something that reciprocates itself in disguised ways. Working with the underprivileged teaches one to be more thoughtful in their actions, appreciate their belongings, and ultimately lead to an increase in perspective and understanding.

Community service has become an integral part of my daily life, be it through environmental sustainability efforts, educational initiatives for underprivileged students, or through Scouting. I have been a Boy Scout since fourth grade and am currently working towards my Eagle award. Each of my community service experiences have taught me leadership, collaboration, and empathy. They have provided me with the special opportunity to make a tangible impact on communities. I hope as a member of  the McClellan Society, I can further my desire to help others and communicate with other students motivated by a similar passion.

Community service has changed my worldview in many ways. Growing up, I was very fortunate to have the resources to develop and educate myself through travel and schooling. I was exposed to the problems that threatened society and found these issues very daunting. In coming to Lawrenceville and having the opportunity to spearhead my own initiatives, I have gained a completely different perspective. During Community Day during my Second Form year, I decided to run an event based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. I led a workshop for my peers in which we explored some of the most pressing issues in impoverished South American countries. This experience led me to start my own organization, Sustainable Solutions for Global Equity. I overcame my initial overwhelming feelings and I realized it is not necessary to be the one to convince the world to achieve global peace. Even the smallest actions go an extremely long way. Being the leader behind your own beliefs and striving to make your hope for what’s possible a reality is not unattainable. It's important for people to realize that they CAN make a difference if they have the will. In all of my endeavors at Lawrenceville, teachers, students, and faculty have been there to support me every step of the way.

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Through House and Harkness, Lawrenceville challenges a diverse community of promising young people to lead lives of learning, integrity, and high purpose.  Our mission is to inspire the best in each to seek the best for all.