By Bella Wright
As the Service Program Coordinator for the Office of Involvement and Student Affairs at Auburn University, Charlie Gordon dedicates his time to serving students and the Auburn/Opelika community. Through the Beat Bama Food Drive, AU Dance Marathon, and the Student Impact program, Charlie promotes community, change, education, and opportunity. These programs work to fight food insecurity, raise money for Children’s Hospital and provide students with service opportunities throughout the Auburn/Opelika area related to education, animal welfare, and environmental advocacy.
Charlie was driven to devote his life to higher education and service while earning his Bachelor’s in Communications at the University of North Alabama. As he struggled to find his calling, on-campus staff provided ample resources and opportunities for growth and discovery. This made him realize he wanted to uplift students just as faculty had done for him, which led Charlie to pursue a Master’s in Higher Education at Auburn University in May 2021. For two years, he served as the graduate assistant for service programs to help advise the Auburn Dance Marathon, the Beat Bama Food Drive, Alternative Student Breaks, the Student Impact Program, and The Big Event. He also interned with Auburn University’s Office of Community Service and Engagement where he worked to support the on-campus food pantry and a local nonprofit, Room at the Table, which offers free meals every night to anyone who walks in the door. After being served, the volunteers would also make a plate, sit down with the attendees, and share a meal together. Here, he was introduced to the issue of food insecurity and the importance of community engagement. In Charlie’s eyes, having access to adequate food is a right, not a privilege. In May of 2023, after graduating, Charlie was offered a full-time position at his current job.
Charlie is passionate about taking individual responsibility for our planet, emphasizing the importance of community and education in creating change. His values of conservation and sustainability guide him in his service and vision for creating a sustainable community with lasting positive impacts. He believes everyone should strive to create a better world through community, service, and philanthropy. Also, that while no one person must do everything, we can all do something. By coming together, Charlie believes we can strengthen our communities, as well as our planet.
As an Auburn University Alum, Charlie feels honored to give back to the place that taught and shaped him. In the future, Charlie plans to continue serving Auburn’s community and students while promoting philanthropy, change, and engagement. Charlie emphasizes the importance of working towards change, even if the effects cannot be seen in our lifetime. Small actions every day create lifelong change for our future communities and planet.
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