For my Introduction to Global Studies class, we were split up into groups assigned a community service project for the semester. I worked with a program called English For Action, where students would go to adult ESL classes and be conversation partners for them. This way, they were allowed to practice their Engilsh-speaking skills in a more informal environment, as well as practice typical conversations they would have every day. This was my first community project in Providence, and it was my first time interacting with the Hispanic community. It was awesome to see how comfortable the adults were getting with us, and how much progress they had made throughout our time together. At the end of the semester, we had a culminating reflection, where my group created a powerpoint to give an overview of what English for Action was. In addition, I kept a reflection journal about how each class went, and I also wrote an essay reflecting on the experience as a whole.
For my Special Topics: Water class, we were able to conduct a group research project on an area of interest in concerns to what we had been learning about water. My group and I focused on the privatization of water, and the debate about whether not access to water should be considered a human right. As a group, we went to different organizations around Providence to find out more about the public water systems, for Providence has the second best tap water in the nation. We asked companies whether or not they had received pressure to become privatized, and we explored the consequences local communities face when their water sources become privatized. Below is a powerpoint presentation about the different places we visited: The Office of Sustainability, the Narragansett Bay Commission, and the Providence Water office. Also, there is a Prezi presentation that I created that goes into more depth about the privatization of water and the different actors that are involved or trying to prevent this from happening. The prezi is accompanied with a lot of informative videos.
In January 2014, I had the incredible opportunity to go on a global service learning trip to Nicaragua. The purpose of the trip was to work on community literacy and development within the community, as well as create a safe and open environment of the community, specifically the women. We worked with a non-profit organization called Waves of Hope, and the story of how they came into being is truly inspiring. During our stay, we worked on the construction site of the first high school in the community, acted as conversation partners through a cultural exchange, facilitated a program called "Kids Club," where kids would come to play and do different art activities as a group, and we also help a "Women's Empowerment Day," where we gathered all of the women in the community to have courageous conversations about things they had been struggling with and to leave them feeling empowered. It was the most amazing week of my life, but now that we are back in Providence, the class has been focusing on how to best connect with what we learned in Nicaragua to our community here in Providence. Every Friday, we run an arts camp for students at CityArts. We have implemented a lot of the same activities that we did in Nicaragua in the camp, trying to maintain focus on our themes of storytelling, beauty, and community. I have uploaded my reflections on the two experiences, as well as a video that I created for our culminating photo exhibition at the end of the semester.