For the service assignment, I could not volunteer, but I did talk to some of the students about a program they have, CityBuddies. This program is designed for incoming students to have an older undergraduate student guide them in the first few months of their first year. I think this organization is great, because although it doesn’t help anyone in need, it helps students get through their first experience at university, which is very helpful. Having an older student be able to guide you makes all the difference when beginning school. The students I interviewed stated how they had been the first year student first, before they started being the older student, so they know what is helpful to the new student. This is very important, because even though having professors to guide you through is helpful, you can gain a lot more just from having a student guide you through instead.
Since I was there second semester, there was really none of this occurring so I couldn’t see how it worked firsthand, but all the students involved seemed very passionate about this program. Every day they were passing out flyers, and talking to students trying to get others to join and become a buddy to incoming students. You could tell this was something they did to help students, not just something to add to their resume.
One of the main benefits of volunteering while living in another country is you get to learn so much about the people that live there. You get to see what they enjoy doing, and learn about their personalities. Volunteering abroad is a wonderful thing because not only do you learn so much about the people living in that country, you also get to experience the difference in volunteer work. Even though I did not actually volunteer for CityBuddies, I did learn a lot about how it works, and how beneficial it is. Volunteering is always a good thing, but doing it abroad, you learn even more. How it relates to our definition of Global Community is that there are people from different places coming together to make the world (in this case the City University community) better.
Some key points that I will take away from talking to them is that if you are not enjoying your volunteer work, you should try something else. The people involved in this organization really love what they are doing, and that is what makes the program so successful. I don’t do as much volunteer work as I should, but when I do, it’s always something that I enjoy doing, which is very important. In high school, and even in college, people continue to do volunteer work just because it looks good on a college application, or because it looks good on a resume, but that is not a good enough reason to volunteer. You should want to be volunteering for that organization, otherwise it’s not even worth it. I also think that we should do something like this at Quinnipiac. Even though some organizations such as the Honors Program, that does put you in groups with an older mentor, and orientation that gives you two upperclassmen to count on, it usually only lasts the first week or two of classes. I think if we were to do something like that here, it would decrease the number of students that transfer.
The quote I chose that relates to the picture I chose is, “the first step in this journey is to venture outside our comfort zones and get involved directly and personally in the lives of others, especially those occupying the margins of society… to create respectful and mutually beneficial relationships,” (Richard Slimbach). This relates to the picture I chose, because when you are mentoring a student, you are gaining because you get to make a difference in the students life, and the student gains because they are getting knowledge they otherwise wouldn’t have. That is a mutually beneficial relationship.