Community service is a hallmark of the Mercersburg experience. A majority of students participate in at least one community-service project each year—many do more. And the results are amazing. Not only do you and your classmates work, have fun, and develop lifelong skills, but you also know at the end of the day that you’ve made a positive impact on your community.
Many service opportunities are available. Mercersburg encourages you to propose and develop projects as an individual, an advisee group, a club, a team, or even a whole dormitory. Throughout the school year, Mercersburg provides a number of opportunities to help raise money or give hands-on efforts for various projects throughout the community and beyond.
Mercersburg Academy’s Community Engagement Program seeks to engage the entire community in the work of leading and serving in order to reach our values of lofty ideals, noble integrity, great faith, and a ceaseless devotion to a mighty task.
Community Engagement asks our community members to see themselves as members of a larger global body bound together by our common conditions, humanized by our struggles, and indebted to each other by our gifts and talents.
Serving in order to lead requires the skills to look inward for strength and outward for inspiration. Mercersburg’s Community Engagement program will work with students who are eager to serve each other and our community.
- Ideas: Celebrate and affirm those who help others in our community; create leadership positions that promote service; celebrate small jobs that promote a collaborative spirit among students.
The Community Engagement program will coordinate and promote purposeful campus events while instilling a culture of service within our community.
- Ideas: Student Initiated Events/Tournaments; Student Leadership Training and Service Jobs; Residential Life Service Opportunities; Garden Outreach; KIVA Microloan Investing Club.
Our world needs leaders eager and ready to take part in the global community. Sharing the Mercersburg ideal of “individual humility with collective pride” challenges our community members to approach global issues with sensitivity and hope.
Ideas: Service Learning Trips; partner with other International Schools for service learning opportunities; utilize alumni networks.
Director of Community Engagement and History Facultyparsonse@mercersburg.edu
Emily Parsons grew up in Mercersburg; her father, Sonny Parsons ’59, was a Mercersburg graduate and owned and ran a pharmacy in the borough for many years. While in college, Emily worked as a research intern in Washington, DC, where she became intimately acquainted with the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and the National Building Museum. Emily teaches history and previously served as the dormitory dean in Fowle Hall. She was Mercersburg’s first director of Springboard (a capstone experience for members of the senior class), and also taught The Global Food Chain (a Springboard course) for its first four years. Emily holds the Marilyn and Robert M. Kurtz ’52 Chair for American Studies, and received the 2011-2012 Ammerman Distinguished Teaching Award for Religious and Interdisciplinary Studies. Emily is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Shippensburg University. She has three children, including Jay Howley ’21 and Evan Howley ’22.
Mercersburg Academy has established Community Engagement as an organized, designated afternoon activity available to students during each academic term.