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Service Leadership: Team Interaction With Your Clientele

One of the main goals of this course is for the students to grow in their appreciation and understanding of the role of the non-profit in serving the community. Since most of the projects have the students serving the organization "behind the scenes," the students often fail to see who it is that benefits from your organization. Consequently, they often do not make the connection between their work for your organization and the eventual benefits to the community nor understand the true need for your organization to exist. To assist students in making a connection, the students are required to attend or volunteer at an event where they can "interact" with the constituents your organization serves. After doing so the students must write a paper reflecting on the experience.

Past examples of such interactions include:

  • Serving food to the homeless at Union Rescue Mission

  • Observing a parent's meeting at United Parents

  • Participating in a focus group of non-profit directors who receive financial support from Ventura County Community Foundation

  • Participating in an art therapy session at Khepera House

  • Working on a house for Habitat for Humanity

Please read the following feedback from Service Leadership students on this experience:

"Actually working on our hands and knees, sweating, and leaving dirty and exhausted, was more beneficial than any amount of research could have given us. Yes, I knew that this was a great organization, which answered prayers for families, but I would have never grasped its full effect if I would not have partaken in this adventure... As our group finishes up our project, we feel a stronger responsibility to Habitat for Humanity, and a drive to do well. Now when I sit down researching and working on my criteria in the project, I can visualize concerned, dedicated workers, rather than a remote company."

Please give this portion of the assignment thoughtful consideration. It often makes the greatest impact on the students and provides them the personal dedication to produce quality work.