A junior at a rigorous high school academy, Sebastian wanted to build on the work he completed through a student-led group which raises funds and engages in community projects around his hometown. He was hoping to integrate his summer internship with a nonprofit to create a model for community engagement to be used at his high school.
To gain foundational understanding of the different models of community assistance and engagement, including philanthropy, service, and community-based intervention.
Sebastian's mentor was a lecturer on sociology and the founding director of the Mindich Program in Engaged Scholarship at Harvard University. As a seasoned educator and applied and multidisciplinary sociologist, she used her expertise in experiential and community-engaged pedagogies to build capacity for community-based intervention design and implementation.
By reading about and discussing effective models of community service/engagement with his mentor, Sebastian identified models of community service, evaluated the pros and cons of each; and made connections to case studies and specific examples from the real world.
Each week, Sebastian read a variety of articles exploring different engagement and civic engagement models, then discussed them with his mentor as they related to Sebastian’s internship, his work at school, and his ongoing community engagement proposal. Once he had built his foundational knowledge, Sebastian interviewed some practitioners his mentor connected him with, using an interview script they developed together for this purpose.
Sebastian developed and presented a proposal ground in the literature, conversations with practitioners, his summer internship, and previous experiences with civic work. His proposal explained the promise and limitations of civic work in education/the academy, and as a result his high school adopted his new model for community engagement.
"I look up to my mentor very much. She gave me difficult texts, challenged me in my ability to discuss the material, and always held me to a high standard."
"It was a transformative experience."
"[My mentor] has inspired me greatly to continue understanding about [civic engagement] in the upcoming years of my life...I will remember my time with her as a period where I learned just as much about myself as I did the material."
Clarity of what topics are important, Readiness for college level work, Learning to work independently, Organizational skills, Technical skills, Problem-solving skills, Accomplishing a personal goal, Gaining appreciation for the value of his own contributions.
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