Making a Difference: Magnify Your Voice

Screenshot+from+magnifyyourvoice.com+of+recent+service+projects+uploaded+to+Mayfield+Senior+School%27s+page.+

Screenshot from magnifyyourvoice.com of recent service projects uploaded to Mayfield Senior School’s page.

Hannah Sherman, Mayfield Crier Online Editor

Human Dignity, Solidarity, Family Life, and the Preferential Option for the Poor: these are common phrases heard in Carol Fitzsimmons’ Theology III class where students engage in thought-provoking discussions about justice in our world today. So much insight into issues facing our communities raises questions as to how Mayfield students can continue to serve their neighbors in the face of the pandemic. The answer: Magnify Your Voice. 

Co-founded by Mayfield Alum Betsy Sinclair, Magnify Your Voice is an online platform and “action network” that allows people to create service opportunities and connects users to these opportunities in their area. With COVID-19 limiting volunteer options, juniors in Theology III are developing new ways to give back using Magnify’s website and app. 

While Magnify gives already-existing organizations exposure within the Mayfield community,  Fitzsimmons, who is also Mayfield’s Campus Ministry Co-Administrator, explains why she is implementing Magnify into her Theology III classes for students to initiate projects: 

“Creating projects here means students learn the necessary skills to lead in service to others, and they are ready and able to develop projects in their next community,” Fitzsimmons said. “The importance of getting students involved in creating their own projects is to generate solidarity in our everyday life and to encounter God in unexpected places.” 

In the fall, the junior cubs designed their own Magnify projects centered around a social justice issue they are passionate about. They were tasked with creating a specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based (S.M.A.R.T) project with an action item—or a tangible service component. Knowing that the options for doing direct service are limited during the pandemic, the juniors can also choose to design potential projects that will be implemented in the future when students are allowed to gather in groups back on campus. Examples of direct service include advocacy through writing letters to government officials about public policy, organizing fundraisers, or hosting drives to donate items to places in need, in addition to many others. 

Emma Franco ‘22 and Madeline Macias ‘22 designed a project to host a drive to aid Mexican-American women in Los Angeles, specifically through the Downtown Women’s Shelter which serves homeless women in LA.

“Facing my attention toward the women’s shelter, since LA has such a big population of Mexican-Americans, it’s a good starting point. With that I’m also able to help all women in general,” said Franco, a member of Campus Ministry who helped implement Magnify this year.

 “The Downtown Women’s Shelter has a wishlist of things that they want to give out to these women in need,” said Franco. “So I just wanted to start up a drive here just to have Mayfield use their privilege and all this for good and give back.”

As Franco explains, her project and those of many other juniors will hopefully be set into motion once the pandemic allows students to gather together. For now, they will be developed until they can be fully integrated in Mayfield’s  Magnify service network. 

Fitzsimmons said that the goal of these projects and Mayfield’s presence on Magnify is to foster a community of service that is easily accessible, encourages taking action, and is a place for everyone — students, faculty, staff, parents, and alums — to get involved. In this way, Magnify will change the future of volunteer work at Mayfield. 

“It is more organic, more responsive, and more relevant because the community designs it,” Fitzsimmons said. “This year in relaxing the requirement for service hours, we are changing the culture to promote service as transformative rather than transactional. It’s not about the hours; it’s about a way to love others as selflessly as we can and create a culture of care in the present moment.” 

After six months, 295 members have joined Mayfield’s Magnify organization. Along with the juniors’ addition to already existing projects, students and community members have a wide variety of service opportunities to get involved in. To learn more about Magnify Your Voice, visit: https://www.magnifyyourvoice.com/home or download the Magnify App from the App Store or Google Play.