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  • Carly Jensen changed their profile picture 9 hours, 12 minutes ago

  • Deirdre Howard
    CSSP- July Reflection

                During the month of July I was able to spend a few days at home where I was able to spend some time volunteering at Prospect Child & Family Center, where I have […]

  • Describe a social problem that you have come in contact with during your civic engagement work. What are the root causes? How can they be changed? Do you see yourself having a role doing that?

                Working full time as a licensed nursing assistant at a nursing home means that I get two days (if I don’t pick up overtime) a week to spend relaxing at home with my family, going on adventures with friends, and doing all of the things I love and want to do in the summer. Given my crazy schedule and tired eyes, volunteering was not on my radar for the month of July. So, instead I will use one of the prompts provided to reflect for the past month of July.
                During this past school year and this coming school year, I volunteer every other week at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf with the club Campus Kitchens. We make food and serve it to the clients that come in, mostly homeless people of the Burlington-Winooski area. When we are done serving, I take the time to sit down with some of them, to hear their stories. I remember as a kid I used to be scared of the people living on the streets, and when I look back to walking down the street with either my friend’s family or my very own family, all I can remember is being told to not look at them because some are “criminals” or “drug dealers” or “pedophiles”. I cringe at the thought of this. I cry for these people that are being stereotyped, that were judged by a naïve 8 year old just because her elder told her what to think. I sob for the 8 year old in myself, the girl that was brainwashed, that could have done something for these people. But instead, she just walked by them with her eyes lowered every single time. I used to be afraid of what I didn’t know, of people that lived different lifestyles. But now I look in the eyes of the people I prepared a meal for, and I see a human, a beautiful person with a story. I’m curious.  I sit down with a slim, bright eyed, rustic 20-something year old man who is nose deep in a book about guitars. His pride and joy was laying in his lap, the neck of the acoustic dirty but loved. He smiled at me when I sat down, asking me if I went to college. I nodded and told him I attended the University of Vermont. His dirty blonde hair reached the bottom of his shoulder blades, and if I hadn’t seen him here, I would have thought he was an UVMer too. He told me he always wanted to go to college, but instead he was homeless, sitting on the streets playing guitar. I asked him if he was scared, and he told me he was doing what he loved; making music, and he wouldn’t want it any other way. I was inspired by this, by his love for his simple life that wasn’t so simple. Even though he didn’t have a place to sleep at night or barely any possessions, he still had a glow of happiness about him.

                After talking to many people that go to CEFS, I realized we were dealing with a problem bigger than just hunger. It’s the stigma that surrounds homeless people. In psychology class, I learned that when people see a homeless person, they automatically perceive them as objects, like dirt, instead of feeling empathy. Society dehumanizes people living on the streets, and the act of doing so creates a culture that is not only unkind and bigoted, but it creates monsters out of children growing up in it. Before I was involved in volunteering, I too, was judgmental and afraid of people living on the streets. The only way we can change this is to start doing more person-to-person interaction. Don’t let the kids be sheltered from the streets, let them go talk to people, let them go feed people. Kids don’t judge people unless adults tell them to. We need to set a good example for this next generation so that the stigma eventually fades. And now I will insert a quote everyone has heard at least once from their kindergarten teacher: “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

  • One of the saddest things I have ever seen was a seagull with a wounded wing, being tossed by waves upon the beach’s shore.

    There was nothing I could do but watch the bird be tossed and turned with each […]

  • Since I’ve written a reflection to all the posted prompts, and I wasn’t able to do any service this month, I decided to revisit my “This I believe” essay from SWSS58 I had written last fall and revise it based […]

  • Steve Davids
    July Reflection

                    There has been a big project in the works this past month. I had been offered a gig to play in a band for a wedding and I could absolutely not turn it down. I […]

  • My time in the month of June was mostly consumed with my work at the HowardCenter. I continue to be grateful for the clients who trust me with their stories, and I have worked to learn more skills which will allow […]

  • The month of June has been filled with a lot of reflection about the past school year and dreaming about what the future holds. Realizing that I am halfway done with my college career brings about a lot of […]

  • At the start of the summer I began volunteering at the INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital. This activity is considered direct service, and benefits the hospital, the patients, ad the caregivers. Specifically I work in the […]

  • Deirdre Howard
    CSSP June Reflection

                During the month of June I had some more volunteer time at Prospect Child & Family Center in Queensbury, NY. Spending a day there is such a rewarding experience […]

  • Rozy Isquith wrote a new post, CSSP June 2 months ago

    Rozy Isquith

    July 1, 2015

    CSSP June

    This summer I am working as a Production Apprentice at the New London Barn Playhouse. This old New Hampshire summer-stock theatre, truly staged in an old barn, produces […]

  • Sophia Hoffacker
    June 2015 CSSP Reflection
    June has been a busy month, but very different from my usual schoolyear activities. I am living in Seattle, WA for the summer and completing an internship […]

  • “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”
    !– [if !supportLists]–       !–[endif]–Theodore Roosevelt

    !– [if gte mso 9]>–

  • Daphne Levy SWSS 008 CSSP June Reflection This summer I have the opportunity to work at a weight loss camp called Camp Shane. As I embark on this journey as a camp counselor, I am constantly reflecting on ways in […]

  • Since finishing my first year at UVM I haven’t started another community service project. In my last submission I spoke about helping two of my basketball teams at practices and games. In June I continued to help […]

    Today I moved into my first apartment in Burlington, and I am adjusting to life on my own again. Every day since school ended I have commuted from my house in Bolton to Burlington for work or to Winooski for […]

  • Steve Davids
    June Reflection
                    We finally had the KJ Life event! It was absolutely fantastic. Everything went very smooth and the turnout was massive. The turnout, in fact, was so large, that […]

  • During the month of June, I’ve been very busy working as an LNA on a dementia unit at a nursing home near where I live. I work anywhere from 40-45 hours a week, and it is very tiring, mentally and physically. I […]

  • In the month of June, I have started volunteering my time as an intern at the headquarters of the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. While I have volunteered at other non-profits, most specifically, The Cystic […]

  • Not only am I reflecting on this past May, but also on this past school year itself. The month of May was a busy one, filled with many exams but I still managed to squeeze in a little volunteer work here and […]

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