Journal #3: Lessons Learned

Successful college students take the initiative to seek out resources they need including faculty, peers, staff, support centers, the library, and student clubs among others. How has your participation in the Community Service Project encouraged you to draw upon the expertise of faculty and staff? Which support centers have you utilized? Have you joined a student club? Describe how using these resources for your team project has given you an edge in your other courses and your future success at Baruch. How has your understanding of community service evolved as a result of your participation in the Project?
I could not have even begun to approach this Community Service project with my group had it not been for the various resources that were available during the process. As mentioned in the entry question, these included the faculty, peers, and support centers. My group and I decided to do our project with the NYC Audubon, which is concerned with preserving bird wildlife in the New York City area. Using the databases from our school’s library, as well as the websites provided during the library informational session that we had, we were able to find an organization that was not for profit and also fit our interests. Of course, we encountered certain issues after we started to get into contact with the organization in terms of project description and overall communication between us and the organization. Knowing that our dedicated associate director of the honors program (and our instructor for this course, obviously) would be willing to help us in a heartbeat, we immediately sought his support. I believe that this taught us to have a degree of humility when it comes to getting help from those who have more knowledge of a subject, or those with more experience. It made me realize to a greater degree that the faculty and staff of this college are there to help the students, especially since they went through similar experiences in their lives.

I have joined a club here at Baruch College and have tried to become as involved as I can while still being able to balance my academics. I am currently a member of the IVCF (InterVarsity Christian Fellowship) club at Baruch. Even though it may seem like an exclusive club, it opens its doors to anyone of any faith or race. The club has large meetings during club hours on Thursdays and smaller sessions during the week for those who are interested. My way of getting involved and slowly immersing myself into the Baruch community was to join the Treasury Board of IVCF. Although it is a fairly new position to me, I feel that I can get involved with the club while helping it maintain its strength. Community Service is also another part of the club that they stress members get involved in, which is something that attracted me to the club even more.

This Community Service project has really allowed me to gain a better perspective on the world as a whole, and on the importance of communication between volunteer and organization. It is not a process that can be completed in a matter of minutes; rather, it takes a lot of planning on effort on both ends for a common goal to be achieved. The importance of community service, especially with the NYC Audubon, is something I learned a great deal about during this process. I now have a better understanding of what measures are being taken to solve local issues, and the roles that volunteers play in the solution. Organizations like the Audubon cannot function without volunteers to help oversee and carry out various events and projects. One of the most important lessons that I learned from this experience is that by putting a strong effort to get a goal accomplished, it will more than likely get done one way or another. The goal will stay the same, but the way in which it is achieved may not be the same as originally thought. The fact that the goal is complete, however, is what truly matters.

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Journal #2: Service

What is your role in the Baruch and broader community as a Baruch Scholar in the Honors Program and what do you think it should be? How is this related to the culture of service the Honors Program promotes?

As a proud member of the Baruch College Honors program, I feel that it is my obligation not only to hold myself to a high academic standard but also to help serve the community around me in any way that I can. I always try to put my education first, doing any necessary work on time (or before if possible) and putting forth my full effort in anything that I do. My role as a Baruch Scholar in the Baruch community is to give back in any way possible, considering all the benefits given me by the Honors Program. One of the ways that I see most appropriate to accomplish this is getting involved in clubs, especially ones that have a reputation for serving the Baruch community, as well as the broader community as a whole. Currently, I am a member of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Club (IVCF) on campus, which opens its doors to anyone, regardless of race or faith. This club has many events that it holds that give back to the community, mainly those who are less fortunate. I hope to get more involved with this club, possibly holding a position as an officer. I would thus be taking full advantage of the opportunities presented to me as a member of Baruch College while having the opportunity to give back to the broader community.

As a Baruch Scholar, and a member of the Honors Program, I feel that it is my responsibility not only to fulfill the requirements of community service to stay in the program, but to use any free time I may have to give back to the community. I believe that the number of hours per year required to stay in the program is a bare minimum and should be easily exceeded by all its members. It is not enough to simply do 15 hours of community service per year and think nothing of it. The experience should drive us to want to do more and think of others before ourselves. This drive relates directly to the culture of service of the Honors Program, which encourages its members to go above and beyond what is prescribed. Therefore, I will do anything and everything that I can to not only fulfill the requirement to stay in the program, but to feel the accomplishment of serving and bettering the community.

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Journal #1: Wherever I May Roam

Where have I been and where am I going?

It has not been so much the experiences that I’ve had which have shaped my life; I owe who I am today to the people, places, and activities which surround my everyday life. Without these pivotal pieces, I would not not be anywhere close to who I am today. Growing up in a neighborhood with elementary and middle schools fairly close by, I was confined to one general area for the majority of my childhood. This was not a bad thing, as many of the things in my neighborhood ultimately shaped my personality and interests. Living across the street from an elementary school made it very easy to enjoy school, fully knowledgeable of the fact that home was just a minute away. Attached to this elementary school is a playground with a baseball field, handball courts, and most of all, basketball courts. Since the park was so easily accessible for me, I developed a very keen interest in sports as a whole. I would play as many different sports as I could just to see how high my potential really was. This has ultimately made me a very open-minded and athletic individual.

Thus far, the experience of college life is a mixed bag. I am just now starting to enjoy my classes and gain a better understanding of what is expected from me as a college student. I cannot honestly say that this burden is light by any means but I know that with determination and a little bit of time, I can fully adjust. I want to get a feeling for what college courses catch my interest and have a better idea of what I might want to major in. The more obvious goal for this first semester would be to pass all of my classes and, more importantly, gain a better understanding of the major concepts.

The song that actually inspired the title of this entry:

Wherever I May Roam by Metallica

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