By Emily Breen
When I started attending admitted students days at various colleges, I tried to keep an open mind. However, I knew that Northeastern was my top choice. Surprisingly, one of the driving decisions for me to attend Northeastern was not its fantastic location in Boston or the co-op program. While of course I join in when our fan sections cheer “We have co-op! We have co-op,” I liked one thing even more: service-learning. Northeastern’s Service-Learning Program is excellent and provides incredible opportunities for students and our community. When a sociology professor at BU told me they don’t offer service-learning classes, I made my decision. Just weeks into my first semester, I knew the Service-Learning program would live up to my expectations.
My involvement in the S-L program here at Northeastern began as a service-learning student. I was in the Human Services Professions class with Professor Lori Gardinier and I had an amazing experience. I worked with – and still work with – a program called Jumpstart that serves preschools in low-income neighborhoods. We give the children the literacy skills and social/emotional skills needed to counteract the kindergarten literacy gap that affects many children from low-income families or neighborhoods and puts them behind – often for life. Throughout the semester, Lori and our S-LTA Hannah conveyed passion for service-learning and taught me so much about myself and how I could help our community. Through this experience, I came to really value the Service-Learning Program and I wanted to stay involved. I became a Street Team member with the hopes of continuing to share my love for service and the exceptional S-L program. I wanted to support other students during their service-learning experience like Lori, Hannah, and the Street Team did for me.
Now, after nearly a semester of being on the Street Team, I can say that our team has made an impact on S-L students, the S-L program, and Northeastern as a whole. We have helped students find their community partner locations, provided ideas and insights to the Service-Learning Program, and communicated with S-LTAs to give students the best possible S-L experience. In the coming weeks we will also continue getting the word out about the S-L program here at Northeastern by tabling at Admitted Students days. Maybe we will be able to help a student make the decision to attend Northeastern, like I did, for its devotion to service and collaboration. I hope to continue promoting the S-L program here at Northeastern. I want to see the program grow and expand into new classes and areas. I think service can have a positive impact on every student – from engineering majors to history majors – and on the community. The Street Team was an excellent way to contribute to this impact while also helping expand it.
For details on how YOU can apply to join the Fall 2016 Service-Learning Street Team, click here!