Jaclyn Hunter knows S-L at NU from all sides.
By Jaclyn Hunter
Over the past few years, I have had the pleasure of getting to know the Service-Learning program at Northeastern inside and out. In my first semester with Service-Learning, I applied to be a Service-Learning Teaching Assistant and then found out that one of my classes had a Service-Learning requirement! As a student who was previously very involved with the Center of Community Service, I was excited to learn how to incorporate service WITH learning (hence the name Service-Learning)! Now, I am a Service-Learning Street Team member, learning more with every experience!
Most students groan when they hear that their class involves Service-Learning- they don’t want to do the extra work or volunteer every week. WELL, let me tell you, Service-Learning is one of the best initiatives at Northeastern. Not only do you get volunteer experience, you practice the skills from your class and apply them directly to your service! While taking both Advanced Spanish and an introductory Education course, I was placed at United South End Settlements (USES) to work with bilingual kindergartners and facilitate an art class at their school. This was the most perfect placement I could ever think of- not only did I have the opportunity to speak Spanish, but I also was able to see effective teaching in practice. Service-Learning provides endless opportunities to develop new skills, network with professionals in the Greater Boston community, and step out of your comfort zone.
As a Service-Learning Teaching Assistant (S-LTA), I worked closely with a Northeastern faculty member, Julie Miller, to present lessons, create new activities, and grade assignments. Working with Julie allowed me to develop a bond with Northeastern faculty that I had previously thought impossible- we bonded over coffee, took a yoga class together (that Julie taught!), and created crafts at the end of the semester. In addition to working with Julie, I was able to meet weekly with other Teaching Assistants. At each meeting, we would discuss challenges we faced while participating in very valuable team building and professional development activities. The S-LTA experience constantly surprised me with new opportunities to grow and develop leadership skills I need to be successful in my community and workplace.
Now, I am working as a Service-Learning Street Team member! The Street team is a pilot program, so I am helping work out the kinks alongside directors Becca Berkey and Lisa Roe, our Graduate Assistant David Draper, and all the other amazing people involved in Service-Learning! Perhaps the best part of this position is helping Service-Learning students as they embark on their journeys to their Service-Learning sites, venturing into parts of Boston that they may have never discovered.
I am so excited to continue to grow with the Service-Learning program, and plan to be involved with this amazing organization for as long as they let me!
Be a trailblazer like Jaclyn! Click here to apply for the Spring 2016 Street Team! Applications are due November 18th.