Kara Auclair '17
Giving back to the community she fell in love with
When Kara Auclair’ 17 came to Maine, she fell in love with the state. Arriving shortly after finishing her undergraduate degree, Kara was working with AmeriCorps VISTA, trying to impact the community positively. When she decided she wanted to go further in her education, she knew she didn’t want to leave the state she made her home. This, paired with her love of the community and passion for social justice, is ultimately what attracted her to UNE’s Masters in Social Work program.
Since graduating, Kara has been putting her knowledge and expertise to the test. Shortly after leaving UNE, Kara supported fellow UNE alumna Deqa Dhalac’s successful campaign for a position on South Portland’s City Council. Today, Kara continues to strive to better the community as Justice Project Coordinator at the Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project.
“The mission of the organization is very close to me. We represent clients in Maine who can't afford attorneys and connect them with volunteers who are able to provide pro bono assistance. A lot of my work is coordinating family law clinics and different limited representation programs so that we can serve as many clients as possible throughout the state of Maine.”
In her work, Kara interacts with clients who have faced immense trauma. To be able to provide them with the support they need, Kara needed to fundamentally alter her perspective on interacting with others, and more than anything needed experience. UNE provided her with experiences in and out of the classroom that enabled her to provide clients with the help they need and do so with the care and compassion they deserve.
While at UNE, Kara was a recipient of the Charlene B. Rydell Endowed Scholarship. The support the Scholarship provided her is something she deeply credits for enabling her to ingratiate herself at UNE fully and acts as a source of immense inspiration and motivation in her goal to help others.
“The Charlene B. Rydell Endowed Scholarship really helped give me some peace of mind. It made a huge impact on my ability to focus on my studies. Being chosen was also something that made me extremely proud and was something I wanted to live up to. It gave me a different perspective because now I’m a steward of their legacy and I want to make the most of the opportunities they gave me.”