Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What fuels you?

MS_reasonably_small Maggie Stevens, Indiana Campus Compact Executive Director.

There is nothing like an end of the year review to help remind you of how much your office has accomplished this year. As Indiana Campus Compact reaches the end of our year, we, like you, are busy completing end of the year reports for grants, annual reports, and staff evaluations. This process reminds me that all too often we focus so much on helping our students reflect about their experiences that we often fail to take the time to do the same about our work.

I am not talking only about reflecting on specific programs and grants though…I am talking about reflecting on all of our work—the whole of our work. What motivates you each day to get out of bed and drive to your office? Why do you spend hours planning Days of Service, Alternative Spring Breaks and Service Learning courses? What is it about service engagement that fuels you?

For me it has always been about the light bulb. You know the light bulb moments?  When, suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, the light bulb goes off above the head of one of your students, a colleague, or a partner in the community. That moment when you realize the six months that you put into planning an event really does make a difference in the way that someone will lead their life. That moment when a student revels as they realize the difference that they have made in someone’s life. That moment when a community member finds their pride and dignity as they become self-sufficient.

Sometimes these moments are few and far between. Other times, they happen so quickly that a lecture hall might suddenly look like a field in the middle of summer full of lightening bugs. Regardless of their frequency, or infrequency, that is what fuels me each day and those light bulb moments and the quest to help others achieve them is what inspires my work at Indiana Campus Compact.

What is it that inspires you in this work?

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Indiana Campus Compact is grateful to Lilly Endowment Inc. for significant funding in support of programs, training,and resources for our member campuses that allow them to deepen their commitment to community engagement and service-learning.