5 Reasons Why Being a Cox Engagement Scholar is Awesome

Okay, so, everyone probably thinks their IU scholarship program is the best one out there. But I'm going to give you 5 (possibly unexpected) reasons why mine is hands-down awesome. 

1. You gain invaluable leadership skills from the beginning.

As a Cox Engagement Scholar, you work as an Advocate for Community Engagement (ACE) from the time you are a freshman until you're a senior. In this role, you must supervisor IU students as they perform service at an organization you are assigned to in the community. Oftentimes, these students are juniors or seniors when you're still a freshman. It feels a little crazy at first beginning your freshman year and being a supervisor for other students...but you definitely learn more than you could ever imagine about time-management, open communication and organization. 

2. You make connections you never would have otherwise made.

ACEs work both in the community and on campus. There are currently 29 ACEs, and each of us are at a different organization. That's 29 ACEs, 29 community organizations, all the people that staff these organizations, all of the service-learners and volunteers at these organizations and all of the professors in connection with these organizations. The possibilties for networking are endless. I have been able to get help with school projects, find internships, learn about volunteer and conference opportunities and much more all because of my ACE connections with the community and IU campus.

3. You get off campus and into the community.

IU has SO MUCH to offer students both on and off campus. However, many students get busy with classes, jobs, etc. and forget to check out the community. Being a Cox Engagement Scholar allows you to leave campus all the time and learn about what the Bloomington community is like. From the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market to music festivals, ethnic restaurants, art shows and more, Bloomington is an amazing city. 

4. Learning cool things and having fun counts toward hours.

As a Cox Engagement Scholar, we are required to attend biweekly meetings. These meetings count toward our weekly hours, and we always end up in these in-depth conversations about community issues, why they are occurring and how our agencies are working to solve them. We communicate as a group, and we're able to strategically think through issues and observe how each of our agencies work together to create the community we live in.

We have "end-of-semester" parties (that count for weekly hours) where we do crazy-awesome things like rock wall climb at Hoosier Heights, rollerskate, go bowling and eat food.

We are also required to meet once a month with our "cluster group." Cluster groups are made up of about 4 ACEs each. Our cluster group meetings count toward weekly hours, and we are allowed to go do anything we want together. It's kind of like a monthly team-bonding exercise. Cluster groups often do things like bake cookies, go out to eat, grab ice cream, etc.  

5. You make life-long friends.

The best thing about being a Cox Engagement Scholar is that you have amazing friends for life. When ACE Terrin Thomas became Miss Indiana 2013, we gathered together to eat delicious food and watch her on TV in the Miss America pagaent. We go to sporting events together. Sometimes, in my case, we even decide to live together. There is nothing better than having a tight-knit support system here at IU, your home away from home.

Read more about the Cox Engagement Scholarship and other Cox Scholarships here.

About The Author
Alexea CandrevaJournalism and Communication & Culture major - Class of 2015 - Crown Point, IN

Dog lover. Adventure seeker. DD iced coffee aficionado. Peanut butter addict. Future PR pro.