This HSSJ Capstone project has proved an incredibly unique and valuable experience. Through the generous support of the Learning By Giving Foundation, my classmates and I set up the GW Arc Foundation, whose mission is to prevent entry into the criminal justice system, to provide empowering opportunities and resources during incarceration, and to improve the process of re-entry to combat recidivism. Together we created a website and social media pages, formed a grant application, contacted organizations to apply, and made a scoring rubric to evaluate proposals. We are currently in the process of reviewing applications to award an organization our $10,500 grant. My classmates and I gained first-hand experience in the grant awards process and the foundation/nonprofit relationship, all while supporting a DMV-area nonprofit doing great work around criminal justice.
CausesArts & Culture Children & Youth Economic Development General Education Homeless & Housing Immigrants & Refugees Incarcerated, Formerly Incarcerated Legal Services Literacy Marginalized Populations Mental Health Services Older Adults Poverty & Basic Needs Social Justice Workforce Development
I had a great time serving for my second semester as a Volunteer Coordinator for Jumpstart. The other VC's and I started off the semester by helping plan and facilitate the Jumpstart site at MLK Day of Service, where volunteers made materials for Corps Members to use during individual classroom service time. In addition, this semester we planned 3 volunteer events where GW students made materials for the Cherry Blossom Kite Festival. In total this academic year, the Volunteer Coordinators engaged 156 new volunteers in Jumpstart's mission for a total of 397 hours of service. While unfortunately the Kite Festival estival was cancelled due to COVID-19, we will be able to use all of the materials made at next year's festival. We also made several reflections for Corps Members to complete in order to still gain hours while their sites are closed due to the coronavirus. I have had a wonderful three years at Jumpstart, during which I've earned over 160 hours of classroom experience. I know I will deeply miss Jumpstart as a whole, especially my fellow VC's and my amazing supervisors Rochelle and Caleb. It has renewed my passion for educational equity, something I hope to continue working towards after graduation.
Conducted an evaluation for The Climb Is Our Story college/career readiness program.
I have enjoyed coming back for my third year in Jumpstart, this time as a Volunteer Coordinator. In collaboration with the other VC's, I have planned volunteer events with campus partners, created session materials, conducted TOPEL testing, created reflections for Corps Members, drafted activities for Individual Classroom Service, and helped plan our Read For The Record event. I look forward to another great semester!
I greatly enjoyed the lunch discussion on forming meaningful, lasting, informal relationships with our community partners. Dr. Wagner's presentation on the stark contrast between DC's formal and informal civic engagement was very surprising and provacative.
My fourth semester serving with Jumpstart was an overall great experience. I developed further leadership and management skills co-leading a team of two peers to implement English early language, literacy, and social-emotional programming sessions to 3-year-old children at the Upshur site. My supervisors Rochelle and Jonah also gave me great examples of leadership as they guided all Jumpstart members through the semester. It was helpful to apply some of the knowledge gained from my Nonprofit Management class on this topic of leadership/management. The teachers at Upshur were absolutely phenomenal; they modeled great instructional and behavioral techniques for early childhood education. Given that Upshur is a bilingual child development center, I enjoyed getting to use the Spanish I have been learning in classes with both students and teachers. I look forward to returning to Jumpstart next school year as a volunteer coordinator.
Iona was a very challenging site for me at first. I had never worked with older adults or individuals with disabilities before, and in addition I had to go out of my comfort zone to actively engage and start conversations with participants. Initially I was so uncomfortable I couldn't wait until the session was over. However, through deep reflection and processing in Dr. Prasad's Interpersonal Relationships class, as well as speaking weekly with other students at the same site, I was able to find strategies that worked well, as well as to come to terms with what my impact could be there in one semester. By the end, I thoroughly enjoyed all of the time spent with participants at Iona, learned so many amazing stories from them, became more confident in my ability to work with this population, and felt fulfilled in the work I had done there.