Choosing Community Educational Outreach
By Vanessa Montano – CEO Instructor
Denver-based Regis University and Community Educational Outreach partnered during the 2011/2012 school year to provide students enrolled in the “Writing for Social Justice Course” the opportunity to become involved in a local service organization.
Students enrolled in the course were required as part of the curriculum to volunteer with a community service agency of their own choosing and volunteer weekly and to create a special service project by year’s end. We are very appreciative of our volunteers here at CEO. They are not only a great help to our clients and instructors, but they also learn a lot about what it means to serve their community, as well as how fulfilling it can be. One group of volunteers that really stands out to us is the enthusiastic and driven Regis students.
Our “Regis girls,” as we like to call them, brighten up our classrooms every week as they take in what our organization is all about, and discuss with their peers their experience here at CEO. Katie, Kristen, and Ellen, have all expressed how their perspectives have drastically changed over their two semesters here, and they have graciously agreed to share their experience with us:
VANESSA: Tell us about the class that led you to CEO.
ELLEN: It’s a required freshman class, a writing based class called “Writing for Social Justice.” It deals with looking at how service influences your life. We are all very service oriented so it has been cool to take this class and take it into the education setting.
KATIE: It also prepares us for doing service in the future.
KRISTEN: We read books that follow people’s journeys through their services. It pairs us to what we are doing to what other people are doing.
VANESSA: Why did you choose CEO over the other options presented to you in your class?
ELLEN: Other options were based off working with kids and I have already worked with kids. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone. I liked the passion Craig brought to our meeting. I really wanted to be a part of it and find my place at your organization. I have family members who are in the AA program. It was my way to give back to the community and learn more about it while learning more about my family.
KATIE: I chose CEO because it is different. I didn’t even know about these types of programs before Craig came in to talk to us about it. I recently worked at a pharmacy that shipped drugs to jails, and the people there really lacked compassion. I wanted to see and hear the stories of the people behind it all.
KRISTEN: I chose it because our other options dealt with kids and teens and CEO was a lot different. I didn’t know how often I would get the option to work with an organization like CEO. Also, I was a victim of an ex-offender. I was hit by a drunk driver and was thinking about the situation. I was partly involved in his legal process and never saw what happened to him afterwards.
(To be continued)