Radiological TechnologyYear of Service: 2015
When given several options for my Final, I immediately knew that Service-Learning was the one for me. I'm the type of person that likes to give gifts instead of receiving them, and that is what I first thought volunteering would be. But I was SO very wrong. I was not only giving a gift, but I was getting one in return.
I have to admit I was pretty nervous when I first signed up to volunteer at Reading Partners. I wasn't sure what to expect. Was I just going to read to kids? Were the kids going to like me? When I pulled up to Los Arboles Elementary School, located off of Monterey and Center in San Jose, the first thing I noticed was that I was just about the only white person there. I didn't know if I would fit in. However, the Coordinators were amazing and immediately helped me feel comfortable. I was assigned two beginning-intermediate readers: a third grader named Ashley and a second grader named Chrystian. When I first met Chrystian I found that he was very shy and already embarrassed about his reading skills. However, within a week, I could already see him opening up and learning that reading is actually fun! Last week, I was informed that Chystian was moving up a level!!! I was so happy and excited for him, and right there, I knew that I was doing something right!
In my research, I learned that over three million women under the age of twenty become pregnant, and more than half of these pregnancies result in a birth of a child. Many are poor and have dropped out of school. For the young mothers who pull a double shift and don't have time to fully go over their child's homework, and the overworked teachers with 40 kids per class who cannot give their students the one-on-one attention they need, Reading Partners is there to help.
At Reading Partners, I was constantly comparing the kids there to my son. I am a single parent, working my butt off to go to school, work, and still be a good parent. Just when I thought I was doing alright, my son's teacher tells me that my son is having a hard time in school. My son is only in preschool, but I don't want him to develop bad habits because when he goes on to elementary school, he will be expected to transition from learning to read, to reading to learn. That is why volunteering at Reading Partners was such gift for me; I can now teach my son the reading fundamentals that I learned in Reading Partners. I believe that this program is truly changing the lives of these children, and it has changed the way I view things as well. When I first walked into the school, I was intimidated by the neighborhood, and the fact that I was the minority. But I couldn't have been more wrong. These students didn't judge me on the fact that I was a young White woman with pink hair and tattoos, but instead took me in and accepted me as a mentor. I have learned to love these kids. I love watching them accomplish their goals, which in return, makes me want to accomplish mine. This Service-Learning experience also completely changed my attitude about stereotyping, because I never realized I did it, until I was nervous on the first day. Now I realize that most of us pass judgment without realizing it. I guess what they say is true, "Never judge a book by its cover".
"One tutor. One Child. Infinite Possibilities."
Alma Acosta Sanchez
Major: Secondary School TeacherYear of Service: 2014-2015Awards: President’s Volunteer Award 2015, Bronze
Last spring, I enrolled in EDUC-013MS Math and Science Future Teacher Seminar II, a Service-Learning class at Evergreen Valley College, designed to provide students interested in being teachers, with theory and hands-on experience working with children in math and science at local schools. The course requires 50 hours of on-site Service-Learning experience as a classroom assistant. I volunteered at Silver Creek High School in Mrs. Grace Perez-Vokt’s classroom. I helped her answer student's questions and worked one on one and in groups, explaining Algebra 1 concepts, such as graphing linear functions and the Pythagorean Theorem. I continued my volunteer service past the 50 hours required for the class, because I genuinely established a loving relationship with the students and the teacher.
The Service-Learning experience was powerful because it helped me grow as a person and fortified my desire to teach Mathematics at a secondary school. I learned that I have a gift or ability that can be shared with others. I also gained valuable wisdom in working with students. The simple adventure of seeking answers presented itself to me each moment a student raised his or her hand. For this I am happy and grateful because Service-Learning helped me identify the path to my dream.
"A dream is a special message from the heart." ~Alma Acosta Sanchez
Major: Diagnostic Medial Sonography
Year of Service: 2013-2014
I knew the Service-Learning Program when I was a student assistant in the Computer Lab at the Library. During that time I wanted join into the Program but I still considered because my communication wasn't fluently. Until I took Ethnic study class, I decided to join the Program. At first I just wanted to get an extra credit for my class. Helping other people is happiness, and I love that. When I help someone to do something even though it's just a little thing, I felt very happy. Therefore I volunteered for Vietnamese Voluntary Foundation (VIVO), and my job was food distribution.
Volunteering and giving help to those people who need are also helping others for my own benefit, because long-term satisfaction and happiness come from altruistic actions. After I finished 20 hours required, I decided to continue to help. That job was also related with my Ethnic class, so it helped me to improve my knowledge, understood more about my culture, and supported for my course. When I passed out the food for people who were mostly elder, I saw happiness on their face. It made me very happy. I felt like I am living in my hometown because there were a lot of Vietnamese people.
I would say thank you Service-Learning gave me an opportunity to learn, understand, and practice to build my career further. My major is Ultrasound technician, and I will work at the hospital. This volunteering will help me have the easier to contact with patients especially Vietnamese people who are presence a lot in San Jose.
Armando J Ferrer Jr.In the fall of 2013 I decided to join the Service-Learning program here at EVC. Before joining the, I was merely thinking about the academic benefits I would acquire from it. I thought it would give me a stronger mathematical foundation. In addition, it would contribute to my major of engineering. However, after involving myself in the Service-Learning program I indeed found myself with not only a stronger foundation in math, but also a new perspective in life.
We tend to get caught up with our own struggles and fail to recognize that many others are going through issues of their own--inside and outside of the classroom. Helping others allowed me to create a sense of solidarity with those around me as I gained interpersonal relations through those I helped. With this, I learned that everyone's life is filled with his or her own stories and obstacles. Involving myself in this program made me realize I want to dedicate my life to helping others. There are a lot of people who are suffering through minor and major struggles. Whether it be a mathematical problem or not, I want to do what I can to contribute to the well being of others. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "To have known even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." I am thankful to have been apart of such a great program that has allowed me to do just that.
Chidinina Ukoha Kalu
In the fall of 2013, I participated in a Service-Learning project in Marjorie Clark’s Psychology of Women: Global Perspective class. My responsibility was to research community service and internship opportunities for female students in Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) fields. During my research, I came across numerous jobs and internships that required a lot of programming and other technical skills that I and most of the female students I knew were not qualified for. Although I did not have the technical knowledge and experiences required for those positions, I believed that I would do well in those jobs if I was given the right training. Through my Service-Learning research, I eventually found the program “Year Up” which offered young people 18-24 intensive training in business and information technology with a guaranteed internship at a fortune 500 company. The program seemed right for me so I applied and got the training I was looking for. I was able to build skills in productivity software, computer hardware and basic programming. At the end of the training, I was placed at Facebook and put to the test as Telecom expense manager. I developed leadership and management skills in IT and through this Service-Learning experience, I have found a genuine path in my major, psychology. I plan to merge my interest in psychology with technology. I will be moving ahead to engage in user experience research and human computer interaction in my graduate studies and field of work. Thanks to this Service-Learning experience, I am currently working in the technically challenging field at Tivo as a Beta Triage.
EVC Student & TutorSpring 2014
I was working as an aide for a quadriplegic and it was increasingly difficult for me to do the required physical labor involved such as lifting her in and out of her wheelchair. As my client's health declined she needed more nursing care than I was able to give and after several trips to the ER in an ambulance with her I realized that I needed to investigate other viable opportunities for employment. I had worked in corporate situations prior to my taking on the responsibilities of an Home Health care aide but I had no desire to return to the big business work place. At this time, I was also tutoring at Evergreen Valley College and taking several classes.
The Service-Learning assignment in the Psychology of Women gave me the opportunity to volunteer as a tutor in the Disabled Student Program (DSP) and earn college credit. I worked hand in hand with Robin Salak the Director of DSP and the other staff members every day to accommodate our students' needs. I was able to spend more time tutoring, which was my first love and I found that my 20 years of experience working for a disabled person and my love of tutoring combined with the course work allowed me to find my true bliss, tutoring the disabled. As the semester rolled on I found myself brainstorming about new ways I could improve my tutoring skills and accommodate my students better and I felt empowered to give 110% to this job. It was a revelation that at my age, my love of teaching and people skills could be used together. I have unlimited patience for my students and get great joy out of each session.
Thanks Marjorie for offering Service-Learning in your class, which gave me a heads up to my future. I am now happily tutoring away both at Evergreen and privately to supplement my income.
Major: General Studies with emphasis in Health Science/Nursing
Year of Service: Fall 2018
"I volunteered to help people, but really I ended up helping myself."
Taking the SERV-002 Service-Learning: Personal and Career Development class was just meant to be. Honestly, at first I was just looking for the extra units and to help people, but I ended up with much more than just units, I ended up learning more about myself and the resources that I needed to help myself.
Volunteering also taught me that I that I have a lot more to offer others than just my time. During my service at the ESL and Citizenship programs at the San Jose Public Library, I was able to use my ability to speak Vietnamese to make a difference. The more I interacted with the patrons, the more comfortable I became with speaking Vietnamese. I discovered that I am not too shabby at speaking Vietnamese.
I used to be ashamed of my heritage because I remembered, will always remember, the time when a woman stepped off the bus, onto the side walk in San Francisco, and screamed at my family to "go back to your country." Coaching Vietnamese immigrants who are trying to get US citizenship, helped me reconnect with my ethnicity, eased the shame and embarrassment I felt from the woman screaming at my family. Additionally, my volunteer experience made me feel like a contributing member of society.
I used to think that I only wanted to work with children, but after this Service-Learning experience, I learned that I like to contribute to other's success and help people of all ages in general. When you help someone succeed in their endeavors, you also feel a sense of accomplishment, which is great validation from you as a human being. You are successfully contributing to society and this is a great motivation to try to succeed and reach goals in your own life so you can be a better person.
David TorresMajor: Business Administration
Year of Service: 2011-2012Award: President's Volunteer Award 2011, Bronze
My name is David Torres, a former Evergreen Valley College (EVC) student. My focus of study at EVC was Business. After graduating from EVC, I was accepted to San Jose State University; pursuing Bachelors of Science in business management. I was introduced to the Service Learning Program (SLP) through a classroom presentation at EVC. SLP is an extraordinary opportunity that provided the building block for my future career by enhancing my learning outcome. I found a quote, by actress Gillian Anderson, emphasizing the exact existence of volunteering, "Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need."
Dedicated to "Inspire the innovator in everyone," The Tech Museum of Innovation was my first and only choice to volunteer. I volunteered during the 2011-2012 school year. I decided to volunteer at a place where it is well known that knowledge intersects with creativity. As a volunteer, my responsibilities as an exhibit explainer were the following: Interacting with guests, exceeding every guests learning output. I provided an enthusiastic environment for all guests. Having an extensive knowledge about the Tech Museum and their exhibits, providing answers to any question guests have. I am honored to have participated in a life changing experience that I strongly believe every student should have.
Major: MicrobiologyYear of Service: 2016Awards: President's Volunteer Award 2017, Bronze
At first, I wanted to volunteer to do something outside of school, boost my resume and make a difference in my community. I chose to volunteer at the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley because I knew I would enjoy working with sick and injured animals.
Working at the Wildlife Center gave me the opportunity to work in a hands-on environment. With microbiology as my major, specifically in the field of medical research, working with animals gave me an introduction to the field of medicine and how I could help improve the lives of animals and living beings for the better. Service-Learning has also allowed me to explore the possibility of working with animals as a potential career.
After just a few weeks, I saw the importance of being a volunteer. I felt connected to the community because I was making a difference. When I finished my required service hours, I considered discontinuing my service, but I found that the Wildlife Center had acquired a new place in my heart. The friendly environment, the caring people and the joy it brought me is something that I will always remember and that will keep bringing me back to the Center.Francisco ServinMajor: Global StudiesYear of Service: 2014I was born and raised in Mexico, and came to the United States when I was 20 years old. I am the fourth of five siblings, and the only one who decided to continue my education; my siblings just went through elementary and middle school. My parents still live in Mexico.
When I first came to the U.S. my goal was to save some money and go back to Mexico. As I was working, I decided to learn English. In 1998 I thought about going to college, so I obtained a GED. I took a few classes at De Anza College, but because of work I had to leave school, or I should say because I didn't know how to make time for school. After a long break, I decided to return to college in 2009. Unfortunately, after the first semester I had a terrible back injury. This injury completely changed my life and eventually, the way I see life and the world.
I am very curious by nature, and find several subjects interesting. However, that is not always a good thing because it made it difficult for me to choose a major. I always struggled because as an immigrant I thought that I had to be financially successful, but at the same time I wanted to do something that I felt real passion about.
When I took Ms. Lujan's Introduction to Sociology class in 2012, I still didn't have a major in mind. I was mostly interested in getting my general education done. It is true that when I volunteered I did it to have extra credits in case I needed them because this was my first college class after 10 years. I participated in The Hunger Banquet that Ms. Lujan organizes every year. In the beginning I just wanted to get those credits, but as I started reading and researching about hunger in the world, I became more and more interested. I completed my research about Burundi, an African country with high indexes of poverty and hunger. The findings were alarming, there as well as in many other countries.
At the end of the class I decided to pursue a major that would allow me to work in the field of International development. I plan to pursue a bachelor degree in Global Studies at San Jose State University once I complete my Associate degree at Evergreen. I would like to contribute one day to solving global issues such as hunger, education, or housing among many others.
After my Service-Learning experience, I began reading books related to hunger or healthcare, such as Mountains Beyond Mountains and Strength in What Remains, both by Tracy Kidder. I am a planning to contribute financially soon to one or two NGOs that are active in areas of my interest such as Partners in Health.
At this point of my life I feel very strong about my career choice. In life we go through paths that we never imagined, and we never imagine because we are immersed in our individual experiences. When we are exposed to the realities of the lives of others, we learn to appreciate what we have. We also learn to question. Why is their reality that way? How can people in the same planet have such opposite experiences? Why children have to die so young? How the actions and choices of some people affect the lives of others?
I am grateful that my life has been touched by the Service- Learning and Public Service Program and by Professors like Ms. Lujan. I am working hard to reach my goals and hope to someday help to make the world a better place for future generations.
I was born and raised in Mexico, and came to the United States when I was 20 years old. I am the fourth of five siblings, and the only one who decided to continue my education; my siblings just went through elementary and middle school. My parents still live in Mexico.
At this point of my life I feel very strong about my career choice. In life we go through paths that we never imagined, and we never imagine because we are immersed in our individual experiences. When we are exposed to the realities of the lives of others, we learn to appreciate what we have. We also learn to question. Why is their reality that way? How can people in the same planet have such opposite experiences? Why children have to die so young? How the actions and choices of some people affect the lives of others?I am grateful that my life has been touched by the Service- Learning and Public Service Program and by Professors like Ms. Lujan. I am working hard to reach my goals and hope to someday help to make the world a better place for future generations.
Year of Service: Spring 2016
The Service-Learning Sexual Assault Prevention project for the Psychology of Women course has been life altering experience and an incredible journey for me that continues to impact and influence my life in a pivotal way both personally and professional.
The journey was incredible and was more educational and impactful than any classroom experience I have ever had and has only lead me to believe that this is truly a model for how real life education should be; hands on and comprehensive: essentially molding into us lessons and experiences that remain etched in our memories for lifetime.
Service Learning creates a platform which allows students to grow as individuals by tackling real life situations and challenges whilst working "on the ground" with people from a variety of backgrounds and life situations. It give us the opportunity to do community service in the framework of our educational goals. At the same time we are able to impact our local and greater communities by bringing awareness to social injustices around us by helping to create solutions and in the entire process of this, we as students, get to evolve into leaders and activists essentially allowing us to grow on so many levels.
The service-learning model is one that works and is proven and it drives students to achieve much more than they set out to do, because it allows us to understand the issues on a much deeper level and does away with any superficial aspects of learning by motivating us to be involved in a practical setting with the opportunity to understand the issues by connecting emotionally and physically with the subject and issues at hand.
I feel blessed to have had the chance to be a part of Sexual Assault Prevention Service-Learning project.
Major: MathematicYear of Service: 2011-2013Award: President's Volunteer Award 2014, Gold Medal
I knew about the Service-Learning Program when I was taking a Calculus course three years ago. At first, I participated in the program to earn extra credit in order to secure a good grade. I and a few of my classmates became teacher assistants for my professor for an Algebra class.
The first day at the class, I was very nervous because it was my first time tutoring. However, the students were very friendly and they gave TAs many claps after we introduced ourselves. The warm welcome made me feel very comfortable and ready to expose myself to a new environment. As the course went on, I helped many students clarify unclear points in the lectures. It was a very excited feeling when I saw them understand and handle their math problems on their own. I also had a chance to improve my English-speaking and social skills.
After the course was finished, it grew to me that there was a stereotype, "Math for Asian geeks," passing among many students. Many students from non-Asian culture thought that math is a very complicated subject, and only Asian folks with thick glasses could study it. I wanted to eliminate this stereotype. Thus, I decided to take the Tutoring Training Course to learn some tutoring techniques. After finishing the course, I applied them to help many of my students successfully passed their classes with high grades. This result was so satisfying that it brought me to the conclusion that I would like to become a math teacher someday.
Thanks to the Service-Learning Program, I have known what profession I will pursue. It is no doubt that teaching is a very challenging job. However, participation in the Service-Learning Program has enhanced the confidence that I need in order to thrive in my future profession.
Major: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior at UC DavisYear of Service: 2010–2011Award: President's Volunteer Award 2011, Gold, (EVC) Community Service 2012
Coming from a small town in Australia, I moved to San Jose only a few months prior to enrolling in Evergreen Valley College. At that time, I didn't know much about the community nor the campus, and didn't understand much about transferring. I felt the need to put myself out there and be more involved with the campus. In addition, I wanted to have a purpose and be accepted. Tutoring math and chemistry at the DSP Office of Evergreen Valley College helped me get used to living in a different country, let alone a different city.
I cannot express how much tutoring at the EVC DSP office meant to me. In 2010, I was so shy initially and had a saddened feeling in my heart for leaving my home, Australia. However, tutoring gave me a purpose as those who were struggling in math and chemistry needed my help. I grew closer to staff and students at EVC from this. This service allowed me to overcome my personal obstacles and allowed me to focus on those who may be trying to overcome their own obstacles. From this, I grew a desire to help the disabled members of the community even more. This triggered my dream of becoming a physician.
From tutoring at the Disability Support Program at EVC, I felt very strongly about my experience. Not only did I learn that I wanted to become a physician, but I adapted faster after my immigration with this experience. More than once I have mentioned this experience in a personal statement for transfer and summer internship programs. Showing that I am interested and committed to the community may have been a big factor in how I was accepted into a Stanford Summer Health Careers Opportunities Program, hosted by the Stanford School of Medicine. In addition, I received acceptance letters for transfer from UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC San Diego and UC Santa Cruz.
Year of Service: 2014
I was introduced to the Service-Learning Center at EVC by Professor Marjorie Clark. I was actually taking her Women's Psychology class at the time. Professor Clark being the Service-Learning Coordinator assigned Service-Learning as a major assignment to the class. At first I was hesitant about the fact that I had to do this assignment, mainly because I already had school, work, and other things on my plate.
The major that I had in mind at the time was Psychology. So I shopped around online seeking for different volunteer opportunities that were related to Psychology. I came across the Bill Wilson Center's "Contact Cares Program." The contact cares program offers a 24/7 Crisis Hotline. I loved the idea of being a so called, "Crisis Counselor," so I ended up volunteering there. My one year contract expired in March 2014, but I will continue to volunteer my hours for as long as I can. And the great thing is that I will receive a great recommendation letter toward then end of my service.
My Service-Learning experience has made me see things in a different way. It has made me appreciate life a lot more. I have learned so much through my experience. And the great thing is that I am gaining good experience for different fields in my major. Not only have I gained experience but I have made new friends and "Reliable References" for a future Job/Career. I am really glad that I took part of the Service-learning experience, because I love what I do. I really hope that the Service-Learning program continues to be a part of EVC, because it truly helps students experience with different professions they can possibly pursue in the near future.
Major: EducationYear of Service: Fall 2015, Spring 2017
My goal is to become an elementary school teacher, so I volunteer at Donald J. Meyer Elementary School In the fall 2015 and at Alpha Blanca Middle School in spring 2017. I wanted to learn from actual teachers about what to do and what not to do in the classroom.
I have learned that I am a visual learner, so volunteering as a teacher's assistant was a fantastic way for me to see and learn how great teachers teach. Through my Service-Learning assignment I had the opportunity to help teachers with various classroom activities, such grading homework and working one on one with individual students.
The experiences I gained from Service-Learning helped me in different ways. One, it helped me fulfill the requirements for my Math Science Future Teachers Seminar course. Secondly, observing the teachers and assisting students with their assignments has given me insight into what it takes to be a great teacher. Third, the experiences helped me to learn what to do and not to do as a teacher. Lastly, Service-Learning has helped me figure out what grade level I wanted to teach.
Another bonus was that my Service-Learning hours meets the 50 Hours of Pre-professional experience required for admission to the Multiple Subject Credential Program at San Jose State.
A quote that inspires me is "Keep Moving Forward" by Walt Disney and that is what I intend to do.
In 2016, I volunteered for many organizations, including Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI), Antonio Elementary School, Edenvale Library, Mayfair Community Center, Reading Partners, and Evergreen Valley College (EVC) Math Science Resource Center. It was my best year ever!At each non-profit organizations and institutions, I gained real life experience working with diverse people and a greater understanding of their lives and what they go through. I realized that there are many people in-need in our communities. I learned that every person has a different situation and that we have to put ourselves in his or her shoes and not judge them. More importantly I learned that even when I have nothing, there are still many ways to help others. As Charles Dickens said “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
Although the term “volunteer” means helping people without taking back any benefits, I feel like I got back much more than what I gave. Thanks to my community service, I was awarded two Community Service Scholarships at EVC. Receiving those scholarships strongly motivated me to continue my studies. My major is mathematics, and people may think that my volunteer activities do not really benefit my career. However, no matter what we will do in the future, we always need to communicate with the people around us. Volunteering makes me feel more confident in myself and makes me a better person. This year, I’m planning to apply to UC Berkeley and hope that my dream will come true.
Year of Service: 2014
My name is Pha Tran. I first volunteered three months after I moved to the United States. I was so excited every Sunday when I had chance to stay in front of the class and teach my little students to read and blend the words in Vietnamese. It was the most meaningful activities to me at that time since I could bring new knowledge to the kids and show them how helpful and meaningful another language to their lives.
Several months later, I attended Evergreen Valley College where I had chance to participate in another meaningful activities. Through my friends, I learned that the Service-Learning and Public Service Center at Evergreen provided tons of interesting volunteering opportunities for students who want to join in and help out the community. I went there, got my application and was able to begin my second volunteer job as a tutor at English/ESL (English as A Second Language) at Evergreen Valley College Tutoring Center. I have gained a lot of interesting experiences that not only helped me improve my knowledge but also trained me to become a patient and strong student, who were willing to encounter all of the difficulties and challenges in the college and in real life.
Through the Service-Learning and Public Service Program, I earned my President's Award, which surely strengthens my resume significantly. I really appreciated the Service-Learning and Public Service Program, the very first place that successfully contributed in shaping my personality
Major: Public HealthYear of Service: 2010-2012Award: President's Volunteer Award 2013, Silver
The Center for Service-Learning and Public Service gave me an opportunity give back to the community. Volunteering for Kaiser Hospital, tutoring, as well as working with many other charities was especially rewarding because I able to help people of all diverse backgrounds. This skyrocketed my career in Public Health.
I was accepted to UC Berkeley, awarded a scholarship for academic achievement by UCLA and am currently serving as the Regent Scholar at UC Irvine. I am a firm believer that Service-Learning provides an outlet where students will benefit by actively learn by going beyond the realms of classroom walls.
Major: BioengineeringYear of Service: 2013Awards: President's Volunteer Award 2011 Gold, 2012 Silver,2012 Gold Medals
I immigrated to the United States from Vietnam in August 2011. At first, my primary purpose for volunteering was to learn English. However, in time, I have learned that volunteering makes everyone's life better because basically we all have strengths and weaknesses and something to give each other.
For example, when I volunteered in a Basic Computer Class for Parents, I spent months teaching parents how turn a computer on/off to listen to music and watch movies for entertainment. On the other hand, those parents gave me happiness of doing a meaningful job. I have volunteered as a math tutor for FasTrack, EVC Math and Science Resource Center, and Yerba Buena High School, and on Citizenship Days at SIREN informing people about Deferred Action, and how to become a U.S. Citizen. But Service-Learning has also helped me, in 2011 I was awarded the President's Volunteer Service Award which led me to win the Aspire scholarship. In 2013, I honorably received the second President's Volunteer Service Award, which I definitely added to my applications to Universities of California and California State Universities. I hope that I will get accepted to a good university to study bioengineering in April 2014.
Major: Political ScienceYear of Service: 2011Award: President's Volunteer Award 2011, Bronze
Growing up in a less privileged family has not only offered financial and academic challenges, but has also made me realize the value of a college education and importance of paying it forward. My experiences at the Service Learning Center at Evergreen Valley College before transferring to UC Berkeley helped me think critically about the narrative of my educational endeavors and compare them to the narrative of other students in different communities. As an Accel Middle College student, I had the opportunity to be concurrently enrolled at EVC during my senior year of high school from 2011 to 2012. I was privileged to be in Professor Marjorie Clark's class, Introduction to Woman's Psychology Class, and fortunate to have her introduce me into the Service Learning component at the Womyn's Center.
My experience at the EVC Womyn's Center have made me into a more resilient and well-rounded womyn equipped with experience learning translatable to different environments, such as my political internships from San Jose City Council to a Congressional office in Washington, D.C. I worked alongside Professor Clark to launch the first "Women 4 Women" faculty-student mentoring program, which connected female faculty mentors with students. My service at the Center was an opportunity to reflect upon my personal narrative of overcoming adversities as an Asian American woman to recognize the opportunities I was afforded and to remember the women role models who have positively affected my life. I am a proud transfer student, and I am on track to get a degree in Political Science and a minor in Education in three years. However, I am incredibly appreciative of the opportunity to continue my education as a low-income, first-generation college student from EVC to Cal. I will not forget my experiences learning at Evergreen Valley College, and I hope the Service-Learning and Public Service program continues to be part of the campus to help students like me learn, change, and serve.
Major: PsychologyYear of Service: 2013
I thought I wanted to major in Forensic Psychology, but I changed my mind after volunteering at the Alzheimer's Activity Center in San Jose. I have now decided to major in Clinical Psychology, and would really love to work with patients with Alzheimer's disease. When my professor told our class that we had the option of doing Service-Learning or writing essays for the Final, I chose Service-Learning. At first I wanted to work in the area of my major, but when I saw that I could volunteer at the Alzheimer's Activity Center something in me told me to try it. The first day I walked into the Center, I was nervous and didn't know what to expect. I will not lie; the first day was an overwhelming experience. When I finished my hours that day, I walked to my car, sat there with tears coming down my eyes and contemplated my own life. Every day we seem to take the smallest things we have in life for granted. We become mad because we don't have the latest things in fashion or electronics. I realized how blessed I am to have a healthy mind; that my parents have a healthy mind; that I don't need to see my parents' mental health deteriorate in front of me and not be able to do anything about it. I can only imagine the pain the children, grandchildren, wives or husbands of the clients of the Alzheimer's Center go through.
Every time I walk into the Alzheimer's Center I make a new grandpa, grandma, aunt, uncle, ma, and pa. The clients have become part of my family and it brings me joy that I'm able to make them laugh and smile while I am there. Not only do I teach them small things, but also they have taught me so much more about life. I can put a fancy quote about why Service-Learning is so important, but I don't feel that would capture the essence of Service-Learning. Speaking from my heart, Service-Learning should be experienced by everyone. Not only will it help you know if your major is right for you, but it will be an ever changing life experience, just like it was for me.