The Importance of Showing Up

This has been a busy week work-wise and I wanted to briefly recap.

On Tuesday, February 14th I spoke on student centered learning at The Corps Network’s annual meeting. This conference brings together national, state, and local leaders in the fields of youth development, community service, and the environment. Typically my audience are those in higher education, so I used this time to discuss experiential learning, the broader umbrella that includes opportunities for students to put into practice what they are learning in the classroom. I included background information on John Dewey and shared Kolb’s model of experiential education. I encouraged attendees to help corps members not only connect the dots of their current service experience but how it might translate into situations beyond their service (Integrative Learning).


TCN has been a key partner as we think about awarding academic credit for prior learning and micro credentials (badges). They do an incredible amount of work to guide corps from across the country (even as far as Alaska and Hawaii) whose work is focused on strengthening the country through service and conservation. I was happy to support them during the conference. 

That evening I joined several of my colleagues at the Friends of National Service event hosted by Voices for National Service. The event recognizes leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors who have contributed in building a culture of citizenship, service and responsibility across the country. Voices co-chairs Service Year Alliance’s committee on policy and advocacy.

On Wednesday, February 15th, I presented a webinar with the National Association of Colleges and Employers with Elon University. Our presentation, Beyond Community Service: Cultivating the Next Generation of Service Year Members, discussed different ways that colleges and universities can integrate service year programming on their campus or develop their own service year program like Elon has. For a niche topic, it was well attended and participants asked thoughtful questions. Attendees also included several former colleagues and I appreciated their feedback and participation. I’ve mentioned before that higher ed is a small world.

Last night we also hosted our friends in national service, higher education, policy, and others for an open house at our new offices. This was a great opportunity to share the growth of our organization and build new relationships. I was particularly grateful for colleagues who joined us from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), The Washington Center, Voices, The Corps Network, and so many more.

It’s been a busy week, but it’s important to show up and support community partners and colleagues. Successful community engagement depends on the relationships we build.

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