Monday, August 03, 2015

AmeriCorps Is Like Finger Painting

Tim Hoffelder, S-E Corps AmeriCorps Member Indiana University

Tim_Hoffelder_frameAfter proving oneself as worthy through an application, a member is provided with a small set of paints, and told to make a masterpiece. If the masterpiece takes at least 300 hours to achieve, then the member receives a prize to help him/her continue painting in the future, or to learn other mediums for artistic expression. At first, I had only the primary colors. And, I must admit, I was excited about the prize I might earn. I knew with whom I could work, and I knew to whom I should go if I had questions. Lauren Caldarera, who serves as our advisor, always has suggestions and great words of encouragement. Nate Gibson, the graduate assistant here at the Global Village, meets with us at least once every other week to make sure our hands aren’t tired and that we have good plans for the week ahead.


 However, despite all of the readily available resources, it takes something else to make this masterpiece. It takes something special. I have found that the best works come from the moments when I share my paints with as many other people as possible. When I make the effort to use new hands and new paints, when I am not afraid to get my hands a little messy—this is when the most interesting colors are born. Now, I no longer even think about the gold at the end of this rainbow. Rather, the experience I am gaining and the work I am doing far outweighs any material value I could place upon it. In the end, it is not the final work of art—the masterpiece—that matters. Rather, it is all of the effort and the creativity going into it that does. I have learned to appreciate the paint, the hands, and the work all over this community, as I never imagined I could. Thus, I encourage any Global Villager who yearns to create his or her own masterpiece to consider the Global Engagement AmeriCorps. As long as you have an open-mind, and ready hands, I am certain you’ll learn a little something about yourself, too. 

Tim Hoffelder, is one of nine minimum-time Indiana Campus Compact Service Engagement Corps (S-E Corps) AmeriCorps members serving with the Global Village. These members help organize, recruit, and facilitate Global Village events that increase awareness about issues facing local and global communities. The GV Engagement Corps members serve as liaisons between campus and community organizations and Global Village residents to encourage volunteerism and service-learning. Tim is fulfilling his 300-hour service commitment by mentoring students at El Centro Communal Latino, organizing events with Oxfam America, facilitating Q199 discussions on global issues, and serving as the student leader for the GV Spanish and French Language Clusters.

The Global Village Living-Learning Center is a residence hall located in Indiana University’s northwest neighborhood. The GV is home to 170 globally minded undergraduate students who share a common interest in learning languages, cultures, and studying or traveling abroad. Each semester the Global Village is host to numerous internationally themed events including language hikes, cultural celebrations, ethnic dinners, lectures, workshops, and service projects. Click here to learn more about the Global Village Living-Learning Center.

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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.