How Please elaborate on your fears, concerns, prior

How do you
envision the population in the community that we will be serving? Please
elaborate on your fears, concerns, prior experiences, expectations, and
perceived challenges. 

I will be working
with kids in grades 2nd-6th who are dealing with various hardships,
whether that be living in low-income areas, family dilemmas, foster care, moving
to a new country, etc. Since these kids are so young I am not sure if they fully
comprehend exactly what they are going through or what privileges they don’t have.
This being said I expect most of them to still be positive and happy and talk
openly about their experiences. I have worked with kids before and I think that
when they are young the smaller things in life such as getting punished, not
behaving properly, or getting something taken away greatly affects them to the
point of sometimes pouting or crying to get their way. Although I do believe
their experiences are shaping them as they grow up I don’t expect the kids to
be sad or depressed as I work with them because of how young they are, even
though to an older person they are dealing with serious things. My director
explained to me that I should monitor what I say around them because you never
know if growing up or even currently you have something that they don’t or can’t
have. For example, once he asked a kid what his parents got him for a present
and the child explained that his parents had passed away. I think not let
something like that slip when talking to one of the kids will be one of the
biggest challenges for me.

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How do you think
working with people from diverse populations will affect your experience?

I think it will
greatly affect how I view and think about the community I live in. I have a
firm belief that everyone at some point in their life should volunteer because
it allows people to recognize the reality of what’s going on in their
community. I feel like many people hear about poverty, homelessness, immigration,
woman’s rights, and various other issues but it doesn’t fully resonate with
them because they may have never experienced it or seen it first-hand. Unfortunately,
I think this makes people naïve or rash when deciding how they feel about these
issues which, in turn, can spread dislike or a lack of compassion for these
groups. This being said I am grateful I have had the opportunity to work with
various minorities and that I will be working with kids that also need
recognition this semester. I think working with this population will encourage
me to reevaluate the people around me and understand that not everyone grew up
the same way and with the same privileges. I also believe that working with
these kids will inspire me to stay positive and persistent because even when
they fall off their skateboard they pick themselves up and try again.

 

What do you
currently know about community issues facing the population that you would
like to work with this semester? Include how you know this information.

When I spoke with my
director he explained to me that the kids we would be working with come from
all over the world and from various living situations.  He informed me that some of the kids grew up
in foster care, some are refugees, and many come from under-served areas. All
the schools that I will be working with have allowed Skate After School to
become part of their after-school activity program in order to help better
serve the kids and encourage them to take part in something new and engaging.
After researching about the program and watching a short video on Skate After
Schools website, I learned that with the program the schools tend to see a
spike in attendance, better attitudes in the classroom, and better grades. I
feel like it’s hard to keep younger kids engaged in school in the first place and
that working with ones who are struggling with personal issues outside of
school could be more difficult. However, having programs like this and seeing
the community get involved and take a stand to, in some way, better these kids’
lives in and out of the classroom is inspiring.  

 

What are you
currently doing to be civically engaged in your community? List and
describe your activities.  Then,
discuss how your actions affect you as an individual and the community as
a whole. 

I signed up for this
class because I used to volunteer in high school with a small group called Key
Club. We volunteered at multiple places including Andres House, St.

Mary’s Food Bank, Maggie’s Place, St. Vincent
de Paul, etc. and it was always an enlightening experience. I have recently been
wanting to work within the community again and when I saw this class I thought
it would be a great opportunity to get back out there and find some new places
to volunteer with. Now I am working with underprivileged kids in the Skate
After School program teaching them valuable learning lessons and encouraging
them to keep trying and learning new things. At first, I was interested in
doing something to help the environment but then I realized I’m already doing a
small part by picking up trash at local parks and that I’d rather be working
directly with the community. I’m glad I chose to work with Skate After School
and I plan to possibly keep working with them even after the semester ends.

 

Do you think
that all people in the United States have the same rights and opportunities?
Why or why not?

                                I
do believe that everyone in the U.S. should have the same opportunities. I

think everyone should have the same resources
and chances no matter their skin color, religion, gender, etc. and I believe
this because we are all human regardless of what makes us up as an individual.
I don’t think it’s even moral to say that one person deserves more than another
just because of one of those factors, in fact, it’s not even logical in my
opinion to judge a person based on their attributes. I think anybody of any
gender or race could achieve their goals and accomplish great things if
everyone was actually given equal opportunity. I do believe one should have to
work hard to achieve such things, but I disagree that biases should ever impede
on an individual’s rights and opportunity to get there. I think one of the
saddest things is the children that grow up in poverty because from the start
they are not given the same resources as others. This leads to an expanding
cycle of homelessness, poverty, and inequality. I believe that those who are
better off should research and realize that a majority of those who do not have
equal opportunities do not live in those conditions because they are lazy or incompetent,
but rather need support and recognition for the way society has let them sink
to the bottom.

 

Describe and
discuss your goals for this class in each of the following areas
(Reminder: Your response in each section must meet the word count range
described above.):

a.      
Personal
goals –

My personal goals in
this class consist of me expanding my knowledge of the younger generation in
need and helping them as much as possible. I hope to improve their lives
whether that be by me helping them up after they fall, encouraging them
throughout the semester, or teaching them something new. I personally would like
to see improvement in the kids I work with whether that be via skateboarding or
hearing about their actions in the classroom or at home. I hope to become more understanding
and open-minded working with these kids and I also hope to make some new friends
and find new connections within the program. I would like to maybe help
fundraise a project in the future to help raise some money for the kids and the
program. I would also like to inform some of my friends who also board to
consider volunteering and hopefully help expand the amount of assistant they receive.

b.      
Career
goals –

Career wise I would
like to own my own coffee shop in the future which doesn’t have much to do with
this specific service however there are a few connections that this will
provide me with. My director Tim is an entrepreneur himself seeing as he built
this whole service project from just an idea. I also spoke with another one of
the directors whom is also an entrepreneur and owns his own valet car service. During
our short talk he gave me a little bit of his background and how he came to own
his business. He encouraged me to pick his brain about the topic and if I ever
had any questions he would be willing to answer them for me. In choosing this
internship I have already made a few connections in the field that I wish to
pursue in the future and I will also have some experience working in a small
business/volunteer company that started from the ground and has quickly built
up.

c.      
Academic
goals (include how your service experience will relate to your program of study)

I think volunteering
within the community not only benefits the community in which you are helping
but also you as a person. Companies love to see students being active within
their community and volunteering is a great way to show them the wide variety
of skill sets you bring to the table. Personally, I would like to run my own
business so in WPC this volunteering opportunity will be a great thing to write
down on my resume. I think this service experience could also lead to greater opportunities
to better myself and the community whether that be learning about other volunteering
options or helping Skate After School with projects. Academically I would like
to do some more in-depth research about the community I am serving because
although I know the basics of why we are reaching out to these specific kids, I
would like to learn more about their families and how/why they got in these
situations.

d.      
What
do you hope to learn/gain by participating?

I hope to learn as
much as I can about the kids that I am working with and to gain better knowledge
on the community they are living in. I also would like to spread my knowledge
that I gain from this experience and pass it on to others who don’t know as
much about the subject. I also hope to gain some insight on how to better these
low-income areas and improve the daily lives of the younger generation that has
no other choice but to grow up within it. I am excited for this opportunity and
I hope that it widens my views on all sorts of topics including refuges, foster
care, and poverty. I hope to gain more compassion, understanding, and patience as
I talk to these kids and teach to the best of my abilities. I also hope to be
more optimistic as I get to work with others just as dedicated to improving the
lives of others. Sometimes it’s hard to get past the negativity and naivete especially
with everything currently happening in the world today but being able to help
others and impact someone’s life that needs it can be eye opening.