For my capstone, I spent the year working on SLA’s Community Involvement Club (CIC). I scheduled volunteer opportunities that have more meaning, trained underclassmen to take over the club after I graduate, and creating a more organized system of informing students about upcoming events by making a website. The mission is to create a strong CIC staff that can reinforce the system I have been putting into place, all in hopes to improve the club and create a system that will serve the community. During CIC staff meetings, I make lesson plans for them, we brainstorm, and work on upcoming events. I have been curating a “master club document” and a club google drive folder with all the clubs contacts, advice, and steps to take. My guiding question for my capstone is “how can I create a lasting impact on the community in Philadelphia and SLA” During this capstone, I learned about how to improve my leadership skills. It was also rewarding to teach these lessons for the team and make sure they get something out of it. The most challenging part of my capstone process was having to find organizations in Philadelphia that make a real difference with organizations that fight for the homeless, rights for communities including people of color and LGBTQ+, and more. I wrote some personal reflection along with interviews from the CIC team, speaking about their experience as a leader and volunteer.
The website is constantly being updated with new events or lack thereof after the event passes and it is not necessary to promote any longer. On this website, you can find some pictures from this year's events under gallery and interviews with all the staff.
Link to the website- https://kgucciardikriegh19.wixsite.com/mysite
Bertram, Joyce. “How volunteerism can change your world” TEDxVilnius. May 5 2015.
I have been apart of the Community Involvement Club at SLA since freshman year and led the club junior and senior year, this video was a nice reminder of why we volunteer and it expanded my ideas of why helping others is important. Something I discussed with my mentor is the importance of having a strong mission statement and this video gave me a lot of ideas on what could be included in one for CIC. It also expanded my knowledge behind why people volunteer. This video is what CIC is about and an inspiring message to get students to help. The speaker at this TEDtalk has gone on lots of mission trips and works at a non-profit where she gets volunteers to go on the trip.
Boyer, Nicole. “Encourage The Young Ones: Inspiring Students To Volunteer” Sadiq, Basil, Volunteer Match, January 9th 2017. https://blogs.volunteermatch.org/engagingvolunteers/2017/01/09/encourage-the-young-ones-inspiring-students-to-volunteer/
This website gave me ideas on ways to advertise volunteering to students. It expanded my perspective as to why it is important for students in particular to serve the community. It targets six different strategies and key components to making volunteering accessible and exciting to students. This site is practical to my capstone since it is tips for students. The tips given seem realistic for my project and I hope to implement some of them to my leadership skills. It gave me the idea to have some meetings with the Community Involvement Club staff and give them this information for this year and after I have graduated. The thing is, this source has great ideas but I want the SLA students to really want to volunteer. This source is very dedicated to volunteering and provides expertise on how to run non-profit organizations and ways to help locally.
Daugherty, Sue. “Food is Medicine” MANNA, Philadelphia
MANNA is really what inspired me to change the way the CIC club was organized last year. A big part of the change is finding more meaningful volunteer events to advertise. We currently have two dates for 10 SLA students per day to go work at the MANNA food kitchen close to the Franklin Institute in February. I hope the event is successful and we are able to form a relationship with them and help more people there in the future. This is an example of a local non-profit we are trying to help this year. MANNA has been accredited non-profit in Philadelphia since 1990.
Kuzma, Kay. “What Makes a Team Strong” Project Appleseed. September 1992.
While the majority of my capstone is creating a strong leadership team but this site provided me with more information about what makes a large group of people function. The CIC staff will benefit from the other tips about leadership but this source is more about the importance of organization and how to start creating systems that work for a large group of people. These are generally good skills for everyone involved in CIC to have moving forward. Project Appleseed is a nationwide non-profit that specifically helps volunteers. They specialize in educating people and hosting events on how to be a leader and help others.
“Making a difference through volunteers and nonprofit careers” Learn How to Become.
The majority of my project surrounds itself with SLA students and young people. This website provided me with more personal information. Currently, I am going into college undecided and nonprofit work is something for me to consider. This website really broke down my understanding regarding what that would mean for my future. This is something I could tell my CIC staff about if they are interested. This also provided me insight about where we are volunteering and what that means to the company involved. Learn How to Become always bases information on career experts, data, and primary sources. They are always up-to-date and is a frequent resource at Duke University, Stanford University, and more.
Reid, Stephanie. “Find Your Path to Civic Engagement” Serve Philadelphia.
A large component of research for my capstone has been finding events. I have to keep in mind that the majority of us are under eighteen, we are unable to volunteer during school hours, and students at SLA come from all different areas and it would be helpful to help in a central location. This is just one of the government websites that I have found that work to help people locally. This provided me with more trustworthy websites to consult or non-profit leaders I am able to reach out to in the future. Last year, during the colder months, we hosted a school bake sale and donated the money to the National Immigration Law Center and I think doing in school events would be a convenient way for students to help out this winter.
“Serve Your Community- Cities” National Community and Service/ Americorps and Senior Corps
Moving forward with writing my report, this site could be useful because it has volunteering statics about Philadelphia. This will most likely come up when writing my report and even if it does not it gave me information about Philadelphia residents helpful behavior that I found really interesting. I can talk about how even if people do not serve the community they do other things to help each other everyday. Since the premise of my project is helping people, this is generally good information to know. This information is from the National Community and Service that reports data and groups of people that are in need such as veterans.
“The Core Leadership Skills You Need in Every Role” Center for Creative Leadership, 2017.
Since a large aspect of my capstone focuses on becoming a stronger leader myself and then working to train underclassmen to lead the club after I graduate, I need to dive deeper into what makes a strong and reliable leader. These tips are accessible to read and reasonable goals for us to follow which will make it easy for me to present to the CIC staff. This inspired me to present this information to them during meetings in the spring. The Center for Creative Leadership is globally recognized for promoting the power of leadership and works on teaching it to people.
Winerman, Lea. “Helping Others, Helping Ourselves” No 11, Volume 37. Page 38. American Psychological Association, December 2006.
This topic does not necessarily relate to my capstone project directly but it did give me a deeper understanding of the motives and psychology behind volunteering. It explained how in the human brain, there is a balance between actually having the compelling feeling to helping others and doing nice things to feel good about yourself. This is not something I will be presenting in my capstone but it expanded my thinking beyond my personal motive which is to actually help others. The American Psychological Association was founded at Clark University in 1892 and they are the largest professional organization of physcology.
Wu, Huiting. “Social Impact of Volunteerism” Points of Light Institute, Atlanta Georgia, August 30 2011.
This was one of the most useful resources for my project. It targets the different aspects of volunteering, meaning how it affects those volunteer, the economy, nonprofits, and the people that are receiving the help. It mostly explained how it affects the people volunteering which is the basis of my project and how much it would help to create a more social atmosphere and make a club where everyone knows each other. It also provided me with some personal knowledge about the business side of non-profit work. This inspired me to think about asking teachers again if they would be interested in sponsoring our club. Right now we have a teacher sponsor but I am going to look for someone dedicated to volunteering like we had a few years ago. Points of Light Institute is a trusted non-profit started by George H. W. Bush and works to provide people with advice on how to solve social problems in our community.