As my final year as a Community Based Learning (CBL) Intern begins, I thought that reflecting on my last three years of experience and expressing my goals for this year would be beneficial to having a successful experience. Throughout my CBL experience, I have had wonderful opportunities to work with young students in Worcester as a tutor at multiple schools in the city. My first and second years, I volunteered as an after-school tutor at The Nativity School of Worcester, a private Jesuit school in Worcester that gives low-income students the opportunity to receive a private education for free. My first year I tutored completely online, which often made it difficult to teach as well as connect with the students. This is especially because they were young and had trouble focusing while using Zoom for a long period of time. My second year, I was able to work at The Nativity School in person. During this time, I learned a lot about myself and my ability to connect with others. By building strong relationships with the students, I learned about the impact a friendly relationship and a comfortable environment can have on a student both academically and personally. This idea also benefited me personally. This past school year, I volunteered at Worcester East Middle School as an assistant in a seventh grade English class. This was a very rewarding experience, as I was able to connect with a plethora of students. My main task was to motivate the students to do their assignments with maximum effort, explaining to them why they are important and interesting assignments.
Based on the wonderful experiences I have had the last three years as a member of the CBL program, I hope to have a strong final year. This year, I want to focus on the little moments during my volunteering and be able to appreciate every piece that has made me who I am today. I want to take this year to develop more connections as ways to help others as well as myself. I want to fully embrace myself in the culture and mission of the community partner that I am working with. This will be to maximize the experience for both those I am working with and myself. I hope that by doing this, I can connect more with the community around me in Worcester as well as the specific community partner that I am working with.