Volunteer Story, Jennifer Covell, J86

Jennifer Covell, J86

Current occupation: Vice President, Closing & Client Services at Legacy Benefits, LLC, in New York, NY

Volunteer experience at Tufts:
President, Tufts Lawyers Association (TLA); Tufts Alumni Council; Tufts Class of 1986, 25th Reunion Committee; co-founder and former co-chair, Tufts New York Professional Women Networking Group; TAAP.

Most memorable volunteer experience:
There are many, but the most recent would have to be working on the Tufts Lawyers Association (TLA)/Tisch College pilot program that was recently established to provide legal support to the LIFT project, a non-profit organization where many Tufts undergraduates volunteer to assist indigent clients with their needs in areas such as housing, taxes and entitlements (i.e., SSI). The project is still getting off the ground but the work that we have done to get it started has been extremely rewarding. The TLA and Tisch College jointly awarded Elliot Lobel, who has been spearheading this project, with the Citizen Lawyer of the Year Award in June of 2010. Being present at the awards ceremony that took place in Boston was both a moving and memorable experience. We still have a lot of work to do to make this project a success but we are, I hope, on the right track.

Why volunteer?
I had a great experience at Tufts—I received a great education. Additionally, many of the friends I made in my first days as a freshman remain my best friends to this day. Because my ability to contribute financially is somewhat limited by family obligations, volunteering has become another way for me to give back. I have also found that through volunteering, I have developed a wonderful network of friends and colleagues, including classmates or, in many cases, alumni who graduated several years ahead of or behind me, whom I never knew while I was attending college. Somehow, our shared Tufts history seems to add a unique element to these friendships, an intangible quality that keeps me coming back for more.

Favorite spot on the Hill:
The library roof on the Medford campus. When I visit Tufts, it’s the first place I want to go—the views of Boston and the campus itself always bring back good memories.

If you could bottle up any piece of Tufts and take it home with you forever, what would it be?
If I could bottle any piece of Tufts and take it home with me, it would have to be the granola that was served in the dining halls, combined with the experience of eating it with my friends. Although, these days, I rarely eat granola—probably because no one makes it as well as Tufts Dining Services—I have many fond memories of sitting in the dining halls (both uphill and downhill) with assorted friends and housemates. During my efforts to forestall studying, I'd nurse a black cup of coffee and dip an apple slice topped with a schmear of peanut butter into a Tufts paper cup filled with granola. Sometimes the granola batches were browned to a crisp; sometimes it was practically burned. No matter how it came out of the oven, it was heaven.

Return to list of volunteer stories