Why do civic engagement leaders get involved in the work they do? What keeps them going in the face of challenges? In this series, What Is Your Why?, the Bard College Center for Civic Engagement highlights campus and local changemakers. In this episode, Shadin Nassar talks with Vice President of Civic Engagement Erin Cannan about her role as civic engagement coordinator at Al-Quds Bard College and her personal civic engagement work. An alumna of the Get Engaged Student Leadership Conference and Global Fellows Program, Nassar started a creative writing initiative as a student herself in 2017 in Palestinian high schools. Written Voices now operates under the name Upraised Voices, working with schools, marginalized areas, refugees, women, and other groups throughout Palestinian society to help them express themselves and own their own stories through creative writing and debate. “Seeing that what I am doing is affecting other people and improving their lives for the better, that keeps me going,” she says. In her current role, she inspires students to look for something they are passionate about that can help bring about positive changes in the Palestinian community and the global community. She encourages them to take advantage of existing opportunities, including cross-campus exchanges, to sustain their work.