Reade is one of our three new Service-Learning Advocates (SLAs) who started this year. She hails from Colorado Springs, Colorado, a sophomore on the APU women’s soccer team, studying Biochemistry (pre-med) with a minor in Spanish. I sat down with her over coffee this month to get her perspective about being a part of the Center Academic Service-Learning and Research as an SLA.
Reade is a detailed individual and enjoys the varied tasks of her position, which provide a refreshing variation to her assigned tasks as a biochemistry/pre-med major. What Reade personally values and gains most from being an SLA in the CASLR is the rich mentorship and wisdom of the varying ages of women in the office. She also finds working with upper-classmen encouraging and helpful. She finds their experience an invaluable resource.
Some of the community partners with which Reade works with are St. Frances of Rome School in Azusa, where a COMM 111: Public Communications class meets with sixth grade students to prepare them for a Speech Night. Working with the Speech Night project is a special treat because she had the opportunity to be a part of this class during a previous semester and has personal experience of its reciprocal impact for both the APU students and the sixth grade students. Another of Reade’s programs is Angels Sing, which is a caroling event that BUSI 210: Principals of Organization and Management students help organize for Visiting Angels, an in-home care organization for senior citizens. This year’s Angels Sing event is scheduled for December 7 from 3pm to 8pm. Extra volunteers are welcome to participate.
Being a part of the CASLR team has influenced Reade both professionally as well as spiritually. Since she is a pre-med student with many years still to go in schooling, she has loved the opportunity to apply what she is learning in the community and to be able to make a difference now while she is still in school. Spiritually, Reade is blessed by the CASLR’s representation of the Body of Christ, all working together, utilizing everyone’s unique talents, and helping each other as one unit in a loving, caring environment.
Reade hopes to be able to continue contributing to the CASLR through her passion and intentionality to complete her assignments with excellence, and to leave behind a trail of small secret encouragements to the rest of the office staff. Reade’s top Strengths are: Woo, Achiever, Strategic, Includer, and Belief. She enjoys the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over to her cause by being a positive, passionate example. She is able to really get behind a goal or mission, believe strongly in it, and persuade others to join her enthusiasm. She is also able to visualize new possibilities and think through them in order to find the most efficient logistical solution to issues that might arise. Her SLA Buddies, the two teammates assigned to be her first line of help and resource in the office, would most likely describe her as independent, liking to be challenged, but not afraid of asking questions.
The Center for Academic Service-Learning and Research (CASLR) at Azusa Pacific University now collaborates with more than 70 undergraduate classes each semester with a Service-Learning component integrated within their syllabi. What students are learning in the classroom is immediately applied in practical ways that makes a difference in the community as well as giving great hands-on experience to participating students.
The CASLR employ nine undergraduate students to organize all functioning components, including communicating with the professors, the students in each class, the community partners, and organizing all the logistics. These amazingly talented individuals are called Service-Learning Advocates (SLAs), and they are the hands and feet of this sizable endeavor.
Mary C. Pearce is the Graduate Assistant Coordinator for Student Professional Development and Program Support at the Center for Academic Service-Learning and Research, Working on a Masters of Science in College Counseling and Student Development