Sociology major commended for community service


Adam Tobin '14 of Northborough, Mass., recently was recognized for his service within the greater community by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition (NBCC) with a "Neighborlies" award.

A sociology major, Tobin says volunteering helps him to make good use of his time, which he might otherwise misuse.

"I have the passion to help people and I have better learned how to direct that passion through working with NBCC," he said. "It has helped me confirm the fact that I want to teach kids when I get out of school, and has given me the skills to facilitate workshops and lessons.

"I also have the experience of connecting and applying some of my knowledge of community organizing, juvenile delinquency, social work and larger societal contexts to the program, which helps me to better understand the overall purpose it is serving."

Tobin is an intern with the youth leadership program at UNITY - United, Neighboring, Interdependent, Trusted, Youth - an organization within the NBCC. 

"Throughout the year, the team of 15 to 20 high school students from across northern Berkshire County explore and better identify their values," he explained. "They learn communication skills, as well as team-building skills through interactive workshops."

Tobin challenges the teens to think about their community's needs, and they plan and carry out various service projects.

At MCLA, "You can create opportunities to direct your passions and interests on campus if you choose to, and there will be people there to help guide you along the way," he said.

Studying sociology at MCLA has allowed Tobin to look at the world through a critical lens. "It's opened my eyes to how things are operated in the world made by men," he explained.

"I have had excellent discussions in my sociology classes about world crises and their root causes, and I have developed a language to back up my formally misguided political angst."

And, "My anthropology classes have opened my eyes to the different ways that groups of people express their interpretation of this world through culture, and I have garnered an understanding of what leads to their development and oftentimes alteration or abandonment of their traditional ways in the modern world."

In addition to his volunteer work, Tobin is the vice president of the class of 2014 and the president of the Outdoors Club. An avid snowboarder, he calls the hills and woods that surround MCLA his "second home."

"I am most interested in the natural beauty that surrounds this area and I am constantly finding new places to explore," Tobin said. "I also am more than pleased to be able to interact with this unique community that is full of resilient people who move the community forward in all sorts of ways."

He hopes to continue those efforts through his work with youth and by creating more opportunities for those in the community to express themselves through art and music.

"I very much enjoy the community of poets, artists and musicians whom recently have become more vocal and more apparent," Tobin said.

He recommends MCLA to prospective students. "There are opportunities to make your own fun here. The community has its own rustic charm, and the people you meet are great and diverse."