CCEC welcomes Allie Shapiro to Ramapo

Allie Shapiro is the newest member of the Center for Community Engagement (CCEC) after starting early this past December as the Coordinator for Community Engagement.

CCEC is an office at Ramapo College that aims to combine awareness education and action to help students become civically engaged and “architects and agents of positive change in our local communities and the wider world,” according to their website.

“The Civic and Community Engagement Center supports students in their journeys of becoming individuals who are active in their communities, whether it be at the College or beyond,” Shapiro stated in an email with The Ramapo News. 

According to Shapiro, CCEC encourages students to participate in acts of service and empowers them to be advocates for themselves and others. They teach skills that equip students to be problem-solvers, intentional about their actions and recognize how they impact the world around them.

To Shapiro, CCEC’s mission is an important one that gives students skills that they will use in many aspects of their lives.

“I think that connecting with others teaches you how to listen and in turn how to best contribute to the spaces around you,” she stated.

Shapiro has always been intrigued by social systems. Before her position at Ramapo, she had done about a year of community service with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). The NCCC is a full-time residential service program where members are split into teams and assigned to a regional campus to work on service projects. According to the NCCC website, these projects can focus on six areas: Disaster Services, Economic Opportunity, Education, Environmental Stewardship, Healthy Futures and Veterans & Military Families. 

At NCCC, Shapiro focused on housing security and environmental stewardship. 

“I knew that after the one-year term ended that I wanted to continue to work in the world of community-based service,” Shapiro stated. She wanted to specifically help college students create meaningful connections in their communities because that was something she struggled with when she was in college. 

“The fact that the Civic and Community Engagement Center highlights how civic and community engagement go hand-in-hand is what drew me to this role and to Ramapo College of New Jersey,” she stated. 

Shapiro admires how valued community-based learning is at Ramapo and knew that she would make a good fit.

Now that she’s here, Shapiro has big plans for Ramapo to continue making an impact in the surrounding communities. She is looking to organize weekly service trips with local North Jersey non-profits and continuing to work with communities and organizations that the college and CCEC has worked with in the past.

Shapiro is also excited to see students create and foster their own relationships with the communities and organizations CCEC works with and make a lasting impact.

“It has been exciting to see people engaged in their communities, whether it be creating these non-profits or volunteering at one to help meet a perceived need in their community,” she stated.


Featured photo submitted by Allie Shapiro