Why should you volunteer?
Why Volunteer? Benefits and Motivations. Click Here for more information.
So, what did YOU learn by dedicating time to service?
It is our hope and intention that our volunteers will discover the following...
- Students that participate in service programs will learn the importance of volunteerism and civic responsibility.
- Students that participate in service programs will gain networking experience through interactions with members of the University and surrounding community.
- Students that participate in service programs will enhance their leadership development skills through active participation and interaction with staff, students, and community agencies.
- Students that participate in service programs will gain a greater appreciation of their role in society and a renewed sense of belonging to the University and greater Akron community.
Reflection lets us learn from our experiences in a way that is much more deep and meaningful. But that doesn’t mean reflection has to be intimidating or difficult to facilitate! All service projects led by serveAkron will conclude with a reflection time to discuss the impact of the project.
ServeAkron uses the reflection model: "What, So What, Now What?". By using this model, volunteers are able to discuss/reflect on their experience with questions moving from specific to general.
- WHAT: In the "What" phase, volunteers are prompted to answer questions like: What happened? What did you see? Who did you interact with? What emotions came up today? When did you feel happy/frustrated/confused? This phase affirms that the participant’s experience as legitimate knowledge.
- SO WHAT: as volunteers transition to this phase of reflection they are prompted to interpret the meaning of their experience. The goal is to assist volunteers in moving towards identifying what they are learning and how their perspective is changing. The facilitator may ask questions like “Have you ever seen something similar?” “How does this relate to the larger world?” or “What difference does this make for you?” “What ways did you see the mission of this organization being served and not being served?” This phase is often the core of reflection. Eventually, the volunteer should be able to articulate what they now understand differently.
- NOW WHAT: in this final phase, volunteers should be prompted and encourage to look toward the future. Now that new knowledge has been identified, perspective has been discussed, and implications of service are reviewed, the volunteer should be prompted to think about how to further influence change. It is valuable for the participant to outline steps to take to implement their new understanding. You might feel inspired to make drastic change or overwhelmed by the work to be done and unsure where to go from here - In either case, you will be guided and encouraged to identify realistic steps to take. Sometimes it is helpful to ask “What do we need to learn about if we’re to understand this issue better?” or simply, “Now what?”
Reflection is an essential part of service to others, this time helps to establish impact and encourage social change. If you are leading your own project and would like assistance with reflection questions, please contact our office!