College is about acquiring knowledge through various programs but suffice it to say, education goes way beyond the walls of a classroom. Learning experiences outside the confines of a school contributes greatly to the holistic development of an individual. This is where community outreach comes in. Going out and dedicating time and effort to bring a community together in finding common solutions to existing problems brings awareness of relevant issues. It helps person’s growth and sense of leadership. Community outreach programs are usually devised to target specific demographics. This way, more focused solutions are made through cohesive interaction.
Why should you do community outreach?
Think of the rigors of a conventional class- books to peruse and papers to write, alongside deadlines to beat. The regularity does seem stressful. Community outreach provides an opportunity to step outside the monotony of things. Most college students dedicate Spring or Summer breaks to this. The individual grows and the community he or she is helping does too – a win-win situation. Immersing into the community not only hones leadership skills but also provides experiences that transform and shape them into better social people. Building networks and gaining experience essential to one’s career path are also an upside.
In New Mexico, there are various programs according to the need of a certain group. There are a lot of volunteer options available like education programs- volunteering time in day care centers and public schools. Often, vocational skills are taught and workshops are done. Also, rehabilitation centers, civic organizations, youth organizations, programs for the deaf are only a few one could look into when considering an alternative break. One key is to find your interest and a program that matches the experiences you need for a future career.
Some tips before immersing yourself in New Mexico community outreach programs:
- Asses yourself and your skills. Know what you can offer to the community. Perhaps you know how to teach, or you are especially skilful in building things, or maybe you have a budding leadership skill? Also, know what skills you need to hone or learn. Immersing in certain situations might help you gain something- whether it be a new skill or a transformative experience.
- Know your interests. What issues are you interested in, what causes are you passionate about? Involve yourself in something that you will be happy to commit your time and effort to.
- Take it easy. Over committing yourself and your time might take the fun out of the experience. While helping and supporting a community’s growth is serious business, make sure not to exhaust yourself too much. Community outreach is a group effort, youre not alone in doing things.
- Your sincerity and enthusiasm will definitely boost the spirit of the community. Immerse your positive and happy self into situations. That way, you are contributing a priceless gift to people- your help.