Based on Questions to Consider for Class on 4/4
1. What was a highlight of the service learning project for you?
As is possibly clear from my previous blog posts, the highlight of the project for me was when we broke the barrier between ourselves and our students. For me, this was the moment when the students realized we weren’t much different than them, in fact I related to them more than they were expecting because I too was once held in a treatment facility. After this point, the students became more open with us – more willing to interact and share. It was a game changer and one that worked for the better.
3. What is a skill that you either already possessed or developed which was critical to the project?
Ever since my own stint in the mental hospital I wanted to work with girls in the same position, teaching them creative writing as it completely turned my life around. Once our focus focus shifted from boys in YDDC to girls at Desert Hills, I was elated. This project was something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m not sure if it is a skill per se as much as it was an existing passion, but I feel it definitely aided me in working at DH.
5. What suggestions would you have for future students pursuing service learning projects?
Be open to adaption. When working with populations (specifically youth populations) in treatment or incarceration, the class may not (and most likely will not) go as planned. Be prepared to change the course of your project. Communicate with students on what they need or want. You are there for them, not only yourself. Making the project something they want and will enjoy will make the project go much smoother, and will benefit you both in the long run.