Service Learning Stories
I have enjoyed and appreciated my time of service learning. Not only have I been able to learn more about social work, but I have been able to serve the community. During my first year of college I volunteered at Paxton Ministries, which is a home for adults with mental handicaps. I enjoyed getting to know the residents and playing games with them. I also tutored at Center for Champions, an after school program in Harrisburg. It was a great opportunity to interact with children of various ages and to get to know them. Service learning has been a great way to learn more and to give back to the community.
Both my sophomore placement and my service learning experiences have helped me to grow more confident with the population I would like to work with. My first service learning experience was at Abba's Place, a youth group for children in Harrisburg. Helping to lead this group gave me the chance to learn to listen to the needs of those who I was working with. During my sophomore placement I worked with the Carlisle YWCA in an after school program helping children to develop good homework habits. This placement gave me the opportunity to help children with their specific needs, and be an encouraging person in their lives. Both these experiences have helped me to prepare for my career in social work.
During my sophomore year, I had the privilege of serving in two different field placements: Capital Area Pregnancy Center and New Hope Ministries in Dillsburg. While serving at the Pregnancy Center, I was given the opportunity to examine my own personal beliefs regarding the sanctity of life. Though I didn't know it at the time, this experience helped me to understand my own views and without it I probably would not know where I stand now. It was important for me to be able to examine my own beliefs to gain self awareness. When I began serving at New Hope Ministries, I was able to form and build relationships with several young teenagers who were experiencing difficult times in their lives. We formed deeper relationships by talking and playing games together each time I visited them. A fellow student and I were then able to plan a lock-in sleepover with the girls in the program, and I will never forget the good times we shared when we were able to walk alongside them in their hard times. I have never since doubted that I want to spend the rest of my life doing just that.
Senior Field Placement Abroad in Lithuania
My experience at LCC in Lithuania has shown me what it means to fully embrace a culture different from one's own. I have been exposed to various cultural differences and ways of life in rooming with three Ukrainian students, as well as living on a co-ed floor with students from countries such as Syria, Iraq, Armenia, and Ukraine. I find myself asking others about their study abroad experience including others from my home university, and I am finding that LCC has provided me a much broader and deeper experience that I could have ever expected or imagined. It has pushed me to form a better version of myself, as an individual who will potentially be working with clients from such countries or groups of people. I believe that this semester abroad has provided me with a holistic view at working collaboratively with others and maintaining a greater self-awareness.