How Service-Learning Impacted Me

January 31, 2017
Margarita Amador

Service-learning gave me the confidence to know that I can be effective and make a difference in my community. I may not be the smartest student, but I make up for it with my determination and resilience. I have experienced failure, and faced the negative stereotypes of being Mexican American. I was an F student, I graduated late from high school, and I still struggle with confidence when it comes to school. Service-learning has benefited me because I am pretty self conscious about my academic competence and was never good at school, so I lacked the confidence to have the skills to benefit others and want to volunteer. Service-learning helped me get out of my own head and helped me have a more positive outlook in being involved with my community.

Related: Shadow Day IX

I am currently in the later adolescent stage and it is important for me to have a fulfilling life. I want to achieve self actualization and structure my life to be involved with causes that matter to me. Service-learning gave me a taste of who I am and how effective I can be. I can make a difference. I definitely think that education will help me to achieving fulfillment and a sense of purpose.

I got to experience a great feeling to be able to use my education to help future students have a sense of belonging. I do not know if I made a difference in Julian's life because he is already more determined and well rounded than I ever was at his age. I made sure that Julian knew he was entitled to having a college education.

Related: Service-Learning Case Study: Psychology and Early Childhood Education

Service-learning allows students to explore and be active in the learning process. Being involved in real world situations made me more positive and engaged to learn. Service-learning empowers both service-learners and community partners to make a difference in each others lives. I believe that teaching the importance of being involved in our communities will have a positive chain reaction to uplifting humanity.

I was honored to be shadowed by Julian; I got to show Julian all over campus. We got to talk about his future plans of becoming a college student. I was amazed by the level of education that Roseland University Prep has provided their students. Julian seemed a little anxious about adapting to college life, however I assured him that his school has already given him a solid foundation to becoming a successful student. I am Mexican American first generation and I know what a great advantage it is to having a good education in middle and high school.

Julian had the option of choosing a class to attend so we got to sit in a physics class. Julian is interested in becoming an engineer partly because he has many family members that are mechanics and he likes to work with his hands. I made sure to tell Julian that it is perfectly normal to not know what career path to choose and to want to explore with different classes.

As we learned in my Life Span development service-learning class, Julian is in the psycho-social crisis stage of group identity vs alienation. Julian showed a positive sense of group identity. Roseland University Prep has changed his whole outlook of being identified as Mexican American. Being Mexican American is linked to many disadvantages and negative stereotypes so it is vital to be involved with peers that hold themselves to a higher sense of self. It is important to have a positive sense of group identity. Not only is Julian getting a great education but is also developing confidence to be able to take on all obstacles. Our ethnicity should not determine our vision of our future. Service-learning provided Julian an experience exploring new possibilities.