I have begun to interview the BGCC summer fellows. The compassion and devotion demonstrated by the words of the fellows has been inspirational. As a person who does not work with the BGCC year-round, I have a deep understanding of how this work influences people. People in youth development are not only positively influencing the kids in which they serve; they are also being positively influenced in their personal and professional development. This is the ideal model of service-learning.
This is something that is parallel to the work at the Columbus Foundation and one of the reasons I decided to study community partner led service-learning programs. Fellows learn as they work, and make a major difference in the community. I know my research will support the BGCC in recruiting and retaining excellent staff members who want to make a difference WITH (not for) our community.
These are my reflections at the end of the BGCC summer program. I still have 3 more weeks to make an impact. I look forward to collecting and preparing the data in a manuscript/ report format. My impact will reside in my ability to articulate the experiences of the BGCC fellows.