Service & Volunteering Reflection
By engaging first-hand with the Brazos Valley community to assist them with their resumes, cover letters, and interview skills, my team and I practiced our skills in program development, networking, and community organizing. By perfecting these crafts, we assisted our community in developing skills that could potentially provide them a livable wage and support their households.
During the Spring 2018 semester, a group of fellow graduate students, community leaders, and I decided we would like to assist our community in their search for employment. We organized weekly resume review sessions at our local community center to support the Bryan/College Station region. Also, every month, we would invite experienced professionals to present a workshop or lecture on employment skills and resources. These professionals often came from various Human Resources departments at Texas A&M University. We did this to ensure that the community received a wide range of information--both from academics and professionals.
The Brazos Valley is a diverse community. Attendees consisted of university students, trade workers, high school students, Blinn students, experienced professionals, and those considered to be in-between employment. Due to the vast diversity that the Brazos Valley has, especially during the school year, people of all identities across generational lines benefited from the workshops and lectures our team facilitated. By creating and editing resumes, cover letters, and developing interview skills, the diverse members of our community gained invaluable skills that they can take with them toward any opportunity that comes their way. By the work my team and I developed, we were able to assist our community with finding new jobs, new passions, and ultimately better their way of life for their families. On the other hand, through program facilitation, networking, and assisting in the moderation of lectures and workshops, our team gained valuable information as well. We learned new interview skills, resume tips, and how the Human Resources department of various industries work. By engaging directly with the experts and the community as a whole, we obtained a new sense of what it means to not only be a professional but a servant-leader as well.
I firmly believe my most valued contribution to the project was spreading the word to the community. Although we had a sufficient social media presence and the assistance of the local community center, we knew that social media presents a generational barrier for the Bryan/College Station community. Therefore, I tasked myself with making sure to go out to shopping centers, churches, school events, community events, and restaurants to spread the word about our workshops and lectures. As someone who strongly prefers to be "out in the field," being able to go outside and shake hands and see genuine interest in the program meant a great deal to me. Additionally, being able to assist community members first-hand with their resumes, cover letters, and interview skills during the workshops gave me such a strong sense of community contribution. Seeing the efforts of our work become fruitful for the community was worth the extra time spent "in the field."
This community service is relevant to my personal and professional leadership goals because, as an individual who seeks to have a career in the human rights field, I have come to believe that many aspects of life are a right and not a privilege. In this case, access to employment and a livable wage is what encouraged my team and me to develop this community service project. By actively engaging with the community and assisting in the training of skills that can ultimately support families and households, this type of community service requires me to practice methods used in the organization and development of human rights initiatives.