Contributed by Community Service Center
California Lutheran University’s Community Service Center has added a new advising tool to help students find their footing in community service, connecting them with projects that are aligned with their interests.
The new tool, Pathways to Public Service and Civic Engagement, is the idea of “wanting to expand our minds to the idea of what service can look like,” Madeline Liberti, Coordinator for Community Service, said in a Zoom interview.
Liberti said students take a survey that breaks down service into six different pathways, allowing them to find the projects that best suit their interests.
According to the Community Service Center website, the six pathways are:
Community Engaged Learning and Research
Community Organizing and Activism
Policy and Governance
Social Entrepreneurship and Corporate Social Responsibility.
“[The program identifies] different ways in which you can use your interests to engage in community service work,” Melissa Dennin, Community Service Center Intern, said in a Zoom meeting.
Dennin said that after students take the Pathways survey, the Community Service Center will engage with them in advising appointments to go over the breakdown of survey results and show students “the strengths that they have and what opportunities they have within the community or the society at large to engage in.”
The goal of the advising framework is to connect students with community partners and with an organization that aligns with their interests, Dennin said.
Liberti said she thinks that now is the “perfect time” for students to participate in service and hopes they understand the importance of the “idea of being a lifelong active citizen [in the community].”
The Community Service Center is launching a partnership with Conejo Valley Unified School District to bring in Cal Lutheran students as tutors for elementary and middle school students, Liberti said.
She added that this partnership will benefit Cal Lutheran students who want to become teachers or those who want to make a positive influence on young students.
Another program new to this semester is the Grab N Go service project, Dennin said.
The Grab N Go service project is a service activity in a box, giving students have the opportunity to pick up a themed box full of educational resources and tools and set off to complete the task inspired by its materials.
“Our first [Grab N Go] box will be an environmental focus, so thinking up a service activity by just taking a box with them. It will be full of educational resources as well,” she said.
The first two Grab N Go service projects will be held on Oct. 19 and Nov. 9. More information can be found in the Community Service Center’s bi-weekly newsletter.
Another opportunity for students to get involved in volunteering is the Civic Engagement Fair this November, Liberti said.
She added “it will be a great way to learn about local organizations and get a chance to interact with them … just to offer resources, learn about needs that they have and hopefully students can connect and find ways to help.”
Liberti said that with “everything going on in our world right now” she thinks “now more than ever” people see the “needs” out there.
“Even if we’re all in different places right now, my hope is that people start seeing that there’s real needs in their own community whether they’re on campus or whether they’re at home,” Liberti said.
Students can make advising appointments by emailing [email protected] and can access the survey here: Take the Pathways Survey!