Collaboration at Building Hope in the CityMay 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
My great story for April is about Building Hope in the City’s Collaboration with Baldwin Wallace College and their Jacket Philanthropy Project. Baldwin Wallace College sent six students from their Urban and Community Life service-learning class to volunteer with our Refugee Tutoring programs. The students provided 120 hours of service to our organization in addition to writing and receiving a grant for $1,000 for our Summer Reading Program.
Service learning is so important because I truly believe it both enriches the learning experience of the student and strengthens communities. Building Hope in the City as an organization is sustained by volunteers. We rely on weekly and monthly commitments from hundreds of volunteers to run all of our programs and make a difference in this city.
The educational experience throughout this semester was worthwhile for the students; including the reflection time in their class, the learning process of writing a grant, and learning about the background of Building Hope.
Yet, I know that beyond this educational piece, at Building Hope in the City, it is the one on one relationship built between the volunteer and the student, the weekly meeting at a tutoring session, and the feeling of being a part of a community, that changes both the volunteers and the students’ lives throughout the semester.
Everyone on staff at Building Hope has experienced the frustration when a student doesn’t show up to a program, we have cried with or for the people we are serving who we see in a cycle of poverty or who have lived in persecution for years, we have believed in the students we are working with and believe that they can learn to read, that they can learn English, that they can overcome addiction, or that they can earn their citizenship, and we have heard the voices of community leaders in the Bhutanese, Liberian, Congolese, and Arabic communities tell us that education is their hope to a better life. Each of the BW students that served with Building Hope in the City this semester brought hope to the students and their families because of their commitment and care during this semester. And, it is my hope that each of them learned more about them self, this city, and the world though their service.
In addition to receiving the grant for $1,000 for our Summer Reading Program, Baldwin Wallace also awarded Building Hope in the City their Outstanding New Partner award. What a wonderful collaboration this has been!
-Written by Stephanie S.