When I was an SSU student, I was in a few courses that utilized a service-learning community experience. Service-learning is a pedagogy that various teachers at Sonoma State are using to connect their coursework to a hands-on experience with local community partners. I loved the rewarding feeling that I was actually making an impact at these organizations I did my service-learning with. I was also very thankful that I was able to implement what I learned from my courses in real-life settings.
During my last semester at Sonoma State, I became aware of the AmeriCorps VISTA program when Merith Weisman came to talk to my service-learning course. As she described the VISTA program focusing on helping low- income communities and alleviating poverty I was intrigued and knew I wanted to be a VISTA. I resonated with a lot of the connections this national service program stands for. I was unsure what I wanted to do after graduation but I knew I wanted to get involved and help the community.
The City of Santa Rosa's Community Engagement office is the bridge to resources for the community. Our office consists of the follow programs: Community Engagement working to reach the residents by outreach, coordinating community meetings/workshops, participating in community events.meetings etc, Santa Rosa Violence Prevention The Partnership which involves a collective effort to support youth and families to prevent violence in the community aided by the citizens, government, local community-based organizations, schools, parents, faith communities, and local law enforcement. , and the Community Advisory Board a board consisting of community residents as members that represent their personal neighborhood area. They focus on the community improvement grant program and community building, . Our mission aims at bringing in the community's values and priorities into the City's decision-making processes. This is the place to get involved as community residents whether you want to help in your local government, reduce youth violence in your neighborhood, and or help bring people together where you live this is the office to get connected with.
As a student, you can get involved in the efforts to aid in the community's violence prevention programs we offer here through our partnered organizations. The two programs you have an option to volunteer for are through our Recreations & Parks department in their After School Program at their Apple Valley and Amarosa sites. Program site times are from 2:30 to 6:30; the schedule is flexible so if you have a busy schedule we can work with that. Our second partnership program is the Boys & Girls Club at the Roseland site. Their hours are from Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 3- 7 pm, Wednesday 1:30- 7 pm, Friday 3- 9 pm. Both program duties include: academic support, supervision, mentoring, and providing fun activities. These sites are places that are safe and fun for the youth in our community. Being a college student you can make a big impact on their lives through mentoring and encouragement. If you have interest in getting involved please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org