Our reflection for the week comes from Laken Kincaid, a sophomore political science and communications major!
Which community partner do you work with? Briefly describe their mission and the population they serve. I serve as the virtual liaison for Seeds of Literacy which works to help adults pass their high school equivalency tests and become functionally literate. According to Seeds of Literacy, 66% of Cleveland is functionally illiterate. However, Seeds of Literacy is addressing that number by offering comprehensive tutoring in language arts, math, science, and social studies. Personal 1-on-1 tutoring is offered multiple times a day to help those who want extra support in the GED journey. I tutor in language arts and help students with phonics, syntax, diction, and other issues.
What values, opinions, beliefs have changed as a result of your service-learning experience?
I always thought everyone had access to high school education. I am from a rural area of West Virginia where many people even have their education paid for by the state up through 12th grade. I thought people who dropped out or failed did not want to put in the effort. Now, I realize that many of those people most likely had to make a difficult choice and put others before their education. They may have chosen to raise their child or help a sick family member or help pay bills. I had no right to assume someone's work ethic because of their high school education (or lack thereof). I have met some of the most hardworking people through Seeds of Literacy and want to help them pursue their GED so that they can earn what they deserve.
What new questions do you have that might help you keep learning and growing this semester?
This experience has opened my mind to multiple questions; the most prominent one is how does society allow people to "fall through the cracks" in high school? How can we as a population change so that teenagers in high school do not feel like they have to drop out to pay bills or support their own family? How do we provide support so that people can finish high school? I also want to challenge the preconceived notions that come with adult tutoring. It is completely common to aim for your GED especially if your high school experience was not ideal. I think there is a school of negative thought that surrounds those who did not complete 12th grade or lower.