The culmination of the Advocates for Communities and Education Scholars Program (ACES) survey class first semester was a project that required me and two other group members to watch a documentary and identify how each of the ACES Pillars (positive social change, advocacy, community, and service) appear in the movie. In order to fulfill the requirements of the project, it was necessary that we be collaborative. Because of this, we got together two times to work on the project. The first time we got together was to watch the movie and take notes in addition to discussing it. The second meeting was the meeting during which we were able to finish our presentation, as well as rehearse it. Completing this project allowed me to see real-life examples of the ACES Pillars, which makes it easier to find examples of the pillars in my own life. Moving forward, I’ll be able to dissect social issues that are presented to me and look at what needs to be done in order to ensure that somebody who looks at the issue years after I work on it will be able to identify those same ACES Pillars.
During my first semester at OSU, I took a class called School & Society, in which we discuss the history of education, the way that philosophies of teaching have evolved over time, and how to teach a diverse classroom. For our final project, we had to write a group paper focused on a specific issue in schooling and propose solutions to mitigate the issue. Because my group members and I were all interested in the connection between home life and the classroom, we looked at how the home environment of students impacted their classroom behavior and academic achievement. To present our research, we wrote a 16-page paper and presented it to the class with a PowerPoint Presentation that outlined the issues and our proposals. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to look into an issue that I’m passionate about and think about how I can adapt my teaching in the future so that the issue is less prevalent. In addition to learning about the subject itself, I gained valuable experience working in a group because there were many aspects of the project that each group member had to compromise on.
In order to continue meeting this goal throughout the rest of my college career, I plan to continue taking classes that will encourage me to learn more about the issues I’m passionate about and how I can work to make those issues better over time. Additionally, I will continue to seek opportunities to learn beyond what is required of me, such as reading extra materials outside of the classroom and networking with people in the field that I’m interested in.
To me, engagement in service is necessary for our society to function properly. Because there are a lot of uncertainties in life, communities face hardships that can’t always be predicted or repaired by the people that reside in those communities. Additionally, all resources are scarce, which makes it difficult to make sure that everyone has an equal amount. Sometimes a group of people who lack resources needs to borrow some from a group of people who have an abundance of resources, whether it be time, money, material things, or otherwise, and those people who have an abundance of resources need to be willing to donate some of their excesses. Throughout the first year that I’m in the Advocates for Communities and Education Scholars Program, I plan to do a significant amount of service. I am most passionate about issues involving children and animals, so I have served those communities in the time that I’ve been at The Ohio State University. The two service organizations that I have been most involved with are Pen PALS OSU and the Ohio State branch of Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
For Pen PALS OSU, I write bi-weekly to the Columbus City Schools student that I have been paired with to mentor. I wrote the first entry in the journal that we share, introducing myself and asking her questions. Since then, we’ve written to each other regarding the different prompts that we were given by the organization. By writing to my mentee, I am providing her with an example of a real student who goes to Ohio State and giving her insight about what college is like. Additionally, she is able to practice her conversational writing skills. I thoroughly enjoy learning about who my mentee is and reading her responses to my questions.
For Guiding Eyes for the Blind, I have gotten the opportunity to work hands-on with potential future guide dogs and contribute to their socialization and learning of skills.
As I move forward with my college career, I will continue to work with these organizations as well as find other service opportunities for which I can contribute my resources.