Service/Capstone Update #2
Tamara McCallum March 3, 2023 Stories from ACE 4
Please CHOOSE TWO of the questions below to respond to thoroughly.
- Please give a thorough update about the service you are completing this semester. What are some successes you are having? Some challenges?
- Please reflect on any service experiences or Bonner trainings you have attended over the past month. Describe what you learned, and what you would like to know more about as it pertains to the specific topic. (The service experiences can be through the Bonner program or a community/campus event)
- Free Write: You may write about any topic you’d like as long as it’s not profane or explicit.
This semester, I will be working with the United Tenants of Albany to expand on their volunteer manual regarding the emotional labor it takes to work the Housing Crisis hotline. This will benefit those in the Capital Region by strengthening volunteer engagement and retention, informing the volunteers on burnout, and how to better work the hotline in order to gain and retain more volunteers, ultimately helping more tenants in need of housing assistance.
Free Write: I’m currently excited about life. It is St. Patrick’s Day, and while this blog post is late, my love for you all isn’t. I am so appreciative of the time I have spent in this program. Bonner has allowed me to explore my career goals in a comfortable and safe setting. I often worry about the future and where I will be regarding my career when I graduate from Siena. But I know that because of Bonner, I will always have a support system that will show me that I always have options. Bonner has also taught me that I can always change my mind when I want to change my career goals. We are all capable of change. We are all amazing and capable of so much. I believe in every single one of you and I know that we will all thrive to our fullest potential.
Service this semester has been going ok. I am continuing the work I was doing last semester and making more connections through meeting new people and improving on communication and collaboration. However, it’s been difficult figuring out how to grow my role with the organization and develop tasks that will challenge me as an individual and uniquely address the Boys and Girls Club objectives. My previous service schedule was not working well for me so I was able to change it, but need to make up hours. I also feel a disconnect with engagement in the training aspect of the program as I’m taking a night class, putting me further behind in hours and taking away from the experience this term. I will try to plan ahead with loggable events and service to get caught up for the rest of it, and reach out to my peers and admin more.
I am discovering that I have great interest in studying environmental injustice. As an environmental major, I feel it is important that I educate myself and others on the issue more because it affects most people, but also find myself drawn to write on the topic often when given the opportunity in papers for classes, even non-environment ones. I believe I might take this area of focus into my future career, whatever it may be, or engage with it in some way through college and beyond. I think everyone should be aware of this concept and learn more about it to gain a better understanding of how different communities are disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards and climate change and feel that there should be more justice by advocating for the public health of all and those more exposed to environmental and health dangers. I think that I might request to make a training guide later on about this for ACE members, and get involved that way if I can’t be there to facilitate.
Currently, my site is at the More House being a Program Associate for the Program. My specific responsibility within my role is to keep students accountable throughout the semester. Also, I am actively working on my capstone project with my partner Rachel. Our capstone proposal is centered around the idea of having a course being taught or offered to health science majors which would implement holistic medicine or complementary and alternative medicine. This course would stand out from other health science courses offered because we want to implement a more community-based involvement within the course as well. By doing this my next steps in the project are to actively work on an IRB and content analysis for the being steps of the course. For the IRB process, we are attempting to try and interview professors to see how they formulated their courses, analyze their syllabuses, and ask them if they are familiar with holistic medicine and if they include it in their courses. There is still so much to work on but with the collaboration of working with someone else on this project is helpful to bounce ideas off and ask questions. Also having the assistance of our faculty mentor is helpful because she has experience with the IRB process and can support us along the way. As our capstone progresses I have learned that it is important to ask questions and lean on support from other Bonners and faculty.
My current site is The Connect Center. Regarding my role, I am a marketing assistant and I’m currently the one working on the Connect Center newsletters, blog posts, and Instagram posts. I hope to create something consistent for this program alongside other bonners at the site. Something new that has been on my mind has been the approval of the Willow project, I wasn’t aware of what was happening until a few days back, and hearing that it could affect our environment really made me reflect on the issue. I encourage others to check out what’s happening to be more informed because this will affect the future of our environment.