Welcome to the Fairfield University Office of Service Learning Blog & Journal. Here you'll find news, announcements, and information about what's happening at the OSL.

Service Learning Student Won Grant for $5K to Benefit Community

Last semester, I took a class called Grant and Proposal Writing. As an English major with a concentration in Professional Writing, this class was an option for fulfilling my concentration. I saw that the class was a service learning class, but I wasn’t sure how that would fit in with the subject matter, but I was interested in the topic and had taken service learning classes before, so I signed up. On the first day of class, I found out that we would be working in teams to co-author grants for local non-profits. I worked with two other girls to write a total of three grants to benefit Homes for the Brave, an organization that helps homeless veterans. I felt like I learned so many technical skills to improve my writing knowledge and expertise, but also that I made such a difference in this small organization and that I learned so much from my limited interactions with the amazingly humble and grateful men that HftB served.

I decided to stay on as the Service Learning Associate the next semester, and imagine my surprise when just a few weeks into the course I found out that one of my team’s grants had been funded for $5,000! I think that this accomplishment made the current students see that they could really make a tangible difference in their organization, even as first-time grant writers. I love being the SLA for this class because I have the technical knowledge to help the students with the nitty-gritty, but also a love of giving and learning from the non-profit culture that helps students reflect on their own meaningful experiences.

–Daryll Fay, Service Learning Associate

Quote of the Week

“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.”  – Kurt Vonnegut

Quote of the Week

“One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that.”  – Joseph Campbell

Words from a Graduate

This is my third semester working as a Service Learning Associate.  I have worked with Professor Lydia Greiner and her Public Health Nursing course, which incorporates traveling to Nicaragua during March break to incorporate various public health initiatives.  During my first semester as an SLA, I worked with Lydia to help prepare the logistics of the trip and as a result, was introduced to the project in the beginning of the semester.  In March, I was lucky enough to travel with Lydia and the group thanks to the Center for Faith and Public Life and efforts on Lydia’s behalf!  During this trip the students conducted surveys pertaining to lifestyle choices, diabetes and hypertension.  It was incredible to be able to watch the trip and community work run so smoothly after having spent so much time with it beforehand.  It was also incredible to spend a week in Nicaragua, learning about and befriending the people in the community of Ayapal. This experience really exemplified service for me because it was the first time I was looking at service through a more of an administrative aspect instead of as a direct participant.  It opened my eyes to the different aspects that are involved with volunteering while still being able to participate.  Since then I have continued to love working as an SLA!

–Megan Collins, Service Learning Associate

Quote of the Week

“It is not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom alone.”  – Declaration of Arbroath (1320)

Words from an (Almost) Graduate

As a Service Learning Associate, this semester has been very rewarding.  The service learning class Literacy and Language class that I am working with, tutors children in the Ceasar Batalla school.  Last year, the service learning class I took for my Peace and Justice Capstone allowed me to tutor Anessa at the McGivney Center.  Anessa was amazing to spend time with because she always made my day even better.  It was a one of kind experience tutoring her and having that time to learn through the experience in an educational point and in a personal way.

As I watch the students in the Literacy and Language class tutor students in Ceasar Batalla, I remember those times that I spent on Mondays and Thursdays in the Mcivney Center committing myself to the experience and I see that with the students in Betsy Bowen’s class because they are devoted to the service learning component of the class.  Service Learning adds to the class by giving the interactive aspect of the class.  It shows the significance of service learning.  This semester I had the opportunity to meet other Service Learning Associates and share our experiences and learn from one another.

-Lourdes Torres , Service Learning Associate


Quote of the Week

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  - Mark Twain

On Happiness

“The happiest people I have known have been those who gave themselves no concern about their own souls, but did their uttermost to mitigate the miseries of others.”

-  Elizabeth Cady Stanton

I have been a Service Learning Associate for the past three semesters, starting off when the program was first introduced in the spring semester last year.  I have truly enjoyed my time as a SLA and have come away with a better understanding of the people around me.

This past semester, I worked with Dr. Calderwood’s Exploration in Education class.  Every Wednesday we would go to Cesar Batalla School in Bridgeport and work with first graders, helping them improve their literacy.  Although at first I did not think the small amount of time I spent with the children had a great impact on them, I quickly realized that these young students were grateful to have thirty minutes of my attention.  I really enjoyed working with the younger students; I always left Batalla with a smile and feeling of satisfaction.

- Michelle DeJoseph, Service Learning Associate