10 Things You Learn As A Drew University Civic Scholar

10 Things You Learn As A Drew University Civic Scholar

“Freely ye have received, freely give”

The Drew University Civic Scholar Program is a scholarship program based on community service, providing students with volunteer opportnities, non-profit internships, and the chance to make a difference both outside of and within the Drew Community. As a third-year Civic Scholar, here are 10 things I have learned while in the program.

1. Positive risk-taking can change your life

Whether you come into college knowing exactly what you want to do or not, the Civic Scholars program will encourage you to think outside the box and take risks. The classes and community service opportunities teach us to look beyond our own lives and explore how our actions affect other people, a practice that continues after graduation, even if we don’t end up working in the non-profit sector.

2. Teachers push you because they care

Amy Sugerman, Amy Kortiz, and other teachers and facilitators involved in the Civic program strive not only for educational growth, but spiritual growth as well. We are in college to find where our passions lie and they are dedicated to helping us on that journey and showing us how our passions can better the lives of others. The path of each Civic Scholar is different, but they are always there to help us along the way.

3. Community service can be fun!

Swimming with children with disabilities, shadowing doctors at an ER, helping people at old folks homes, sorting goods at a food bank, building houses with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, laughing with friends while harvesting vegetables at Grow-a-Row, interning with Sesame Workshop--all of these activities and more are community service opportunities you have as a Civic Scholar!

4. You just might find your best friends

Spending your first year of college in a living-learning community of your fellow Civic Scholars allows you the opportunity to find people who share your values, dreams, and passions. Even after college, making these meaningful connections can help you with networking. But more importantly, you might find the people who will stick with you through the bad times and the good times for four years and beyond.

5. Everyone can make a difference

Making a difference doesn’t need to be a huge event like passing a law or donating millions of dollars. It can be as simple as being the reason someone smiles today.

6. All people are people

Man, woman, child, elder, LGBTQ+, straight, disabled, able-bodied, black, white, Latinx, Asian, Native, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, immigrant, Pilgrim descendant, Democrat, Republican--when you work with a person, you realize these labels don’t matter. They’re just a person who needs help and you can help them. Especially in these divided times, compassion and empathy can be hard traits to come by. Civic Scholars have them in spades.

7. Community service is not just about your community

Through Drew programs, Civic Scholars have the opportunity to go to Washington D.C., New Orleans, Kentucky, the Dominican Republic, South Africa, England, Ireland, and many other places throughout the U.S. and the world.

8. Change is never hopeless

Many people say Civic Scholars are too idealistic or that striving for change is unrealistic, but we know that passion and teamwork are what make positive changes happen. Change doesn’t happen all at once, but the slow and steady work of Civic Scholars can bring hope in a dark time.

9. Non-profit work is real work

Through Civic Scholars, you learn vital skills about running non-profit events and organizations that make you highly sought after in the non-profit field. Also, through internships and other volunteering opportunities, you just might end up with a job after graduation!

10. It’s more than the money

Sure, the money is nice, but the experience you gain from being a Civic Scholar is worth so much more.

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The Night The Lights Went Out In Jacksonville

We must band together as a family and support our Home, JSU.

Monday, March 19 around 10 PM a tornado swept through the college campus I walk around 5 days a week. The damage was pretty much unknown until the daylight hours. Upon morning we established that the entire roof was ripped off several of the dormitories on campus as well as at least 5 of the academic buildings.

After damage assessment, it was determined that a dual touchdown tornado had struck the campus. The tornado was determined to have been an EF-3 rated tornado based on the damage.

The tornado has happened at this point, there is no way to reverse its effects.

Today began the first steps we took as a university to began resuming life as normal. President Beehler made a press conference at noon saying that the campus would reopen April 2, 2018. A statement was later released that saying the April 2nd date is fluid and is subject to change.

With lots to consider, many of the educators have announced they have no intentions of resuming classes until the displaced students are safely housed.

There was a press release today that mentioned the possibility of portable classrooms. Aith all there is to consider we cannot rush into opening this campus back up so soon.

President Beehler, a week and a half is no time to rebuild buildings or replace entire dormitory complexes. I myself am speaking too soon even. Where will we hold graduation? Where will we study for finals? What will become of the nursing majors with no place to learn?

We must band together as a family and support our Home, JSU. Help your neighbors out, help the displaced, and pray for those attempting to reconstruct the infrastructure.

Some Glad Day, When This Life Is O'er I'll Fly Away.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter

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Success Is Great, But Failure Is Better

Fail and fail often.

Don’t let success get to your head, but don’t let failure get to your heart. Know that things don’t always work out as planned, and that is OK!

For many millennials, it’s easiest to just give up when something doesn’t go your way. But take heart. Success is great, but failure is better. The reality is, you’re going to fail... a lot.

Failure does not mean your idea was not good or that your dream isn’t valid.

Failure means you have more to learn.

Failure is GOOD.

It shows you that you did something wrong and that you need to take a redirection. It’s an opportunity to come back stronger with a better attack plan. It’s a second chance.

Having failed many times in my life, there’s one thing for sure: failing sucks. It sucks being disappointed. It sucks not succeeding on the first try. However, you can learn to become a good failure.

Failing is inevitable, which is why it is important to learn from our mistakes. You’ll learn more from a single failure than a lifetime of success. Here’s what you can do when you mess up: accept what you can’t change, keep an open mind, maintain a positive attitude, and know that nothing will be perfect.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I was on an engineering team at my school. I was extremely confident in our abilities as a team, so when we didn’t advance to the world finals, I was devastated. The next year, however, my team placed second at the national competition, and we advanced to the world finals. If I had allowed that initial failure to consume me, I wouldn’t have been successful the next year.

It was not easy to advance to the world finals, but because I took my previous failure as a learning opportunity, my team succeeded. I knew I couldn’t change the past, so I didn’t focus on it. I kept an open mind about the competition and did not allow my bitterness to harden me, thus maintaining a positive attitude. My team wasn’t perfect, and I knew that. But I knew if we worked hard, we would succeed. We did.

Every failure is feedback on how to improve. Nothing works unless you do, and nothing works exactly the way you want it to. Failure is life’s greatest teacher; it’s nothing to be scared of. If we are so focused on not failing, we will never succeed.

So fail, and fail often.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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