Role within service-learning: I worked with Professor Hayward at TOPS soccer, which is a soccer camp for children primarily with autism spectrum disorders.
Did you find service-learning or did service-learning find you?
Service-Learning found me through my physical therapy curriculum.
What is one thing everyone should know about service-learning?
It creates a desire for service work for students that may not have had it otherwise.
How are your values expressed through your community work?
I believe that boys need to have positive male role models in their life to help them become better men. I have been very lucky with my service learning opportunity in that I got to work with a great young man with autism, who has taught me how to be a better mentor and how to foster integrity while still having some fun.
Tell a story that describes your experiences of community within service-learning
There was one day that I was playing soccer with my “buddy” at TOPS and he accidentally bumped into another camper and knocked him over. My buddy has a hard time with motor planning so it wasn’t on purpose, but the kid he knocked over was pretty upset. After this incident, he asked if he could play goalie for a while, to which I said yes, but he would have to play in the field again. After being goalie for a little while, I prompted him to go back into the field a few times but he did not want to. In a moment of clarity I asked my buddy “are you afraid that you are going to bump someone again?” and he said yes. I explained to him that sometimes this is part of the game and that I knew it was an accident, and eventually he warmed up to the idea of playing in the field again. This was a great learning moment for me in that I had the chance to identify an issue and then coach my buddy through it.
If your service-learning community was a color, what would it be and why?
Purple maybe? I don’t know, purple seems right.
If service-learning was a kitchen utensil, which would it be and why?
Blender, makes something great out of lots of different ingredients.