Community Service Reflection

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As a chair member in the National Art Honors Society, I organized five community service events in my junior year. Each event worked with a new set of people -- classmates, community members, elderly-- throughout the West Chester area. Through these events I gained a sense of what community is all about; diversity, respect, and compassion are huge components of a healthy community. Oddly enough, I had never applied what I learned about a community to the place I spend most of my time: my high school. The election produced high tensions at Rustin as the media encouraged people to speak their opinions unapologetically. Students were becoming outspoken about abortions, immigration, and gay rights. Not all opinions were kind. This resulted in…show more content…
Not in attendance were the people shouting nasty things in the hallway and the students who needed translators for their voices to be heard. While these students were not at the equity meeting, they were still in the hallway.
After this realization, I felt like I finally had a good way to bridge the gap between fellow students. Inspired to change my school back to the supportive and inclusive place I knew it to be, I designed a program called the “Diversity Discussion” where freshman and sophomores, then juniors and seniors would be mixed up in tables in the gym and encouraged to share their stories respectfully through specific guidelines. There would be language teachers to help everyone communicate their stories, “I am” poem templates on the tables to make sharing or brainstorming one’s story a little easier, and trained equity teachers and members monitoring conversations to make sure they were friendly and insightful, not hateful and hurtful. The other high schools in our district handled the situation more impulsively by doing walkouts. Those were short-term and political solutions. I was determined to evoke real change without getting political.
Though I believed in my idea, I wasn’t sure our principal would believe there was a problem or that my solution would be taken seriously. I decided to be courageous and set up a meeting with him. He asked a lot of questions but was really enthusiastic about the

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