Our #MYSERVICESTORY for the week comes from Erin Ahern, a junior Psychology and Sociology & Criminology double major and Statistics minor from Twinsburg, OH!
At which service sites / community partners have you served or been a student liaison?
I have served at Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Academy, Legal Aid, the Intergenerational School, and St. Francis School.
"One of my most memorable service experiences happened during my time at the
Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Academy. Every Thursday, we visited the students after school to tutor and help them with homework. I worked with the same group of girls every week, some weeks we'd work diligently on math problems or history worksheets while others we'd spend listening to BTS songs and watching TikToks. One week, we came up to the classroom and there was a bike randomly sitting near the teacher's desk. One of the girls exclaimed that she had never learned how to ride a bike and asked us to teach her. We spent the next hour teaching her how to ride the bike. We told her that if she could ride by herself by the end of the hour, we'd each bring her her favorite candy the next week, Snickers. We started by holding the handles as she learned how to peddle, and we slowly worked up to letting go. By the end of the hour, she was able to ride the bike down the hall by herself. She was nervous but beaming with joy as she knew she'd earned some Snickers and finally learned how to ride a bike by herself.
There are so many things that many of us as privileged Americans take for granted. A quality education system, a short commute to school, and having parents teach us to ride a bike are just a few luxuries that many migrant children do not have when they come to America. My time at Thomas Jefferson opened my eyes to the many things that we, myself included, take for granted. Seeing how proud and happy the girl was when she learned to ride the bike helped reveal to me the luxuries and privileges I really do have. This service experience has challenged me to acknowledge my privilege and show gratitude for the seemingly small luxuries and conveniences I do have. I am incredibly thankful for that experience and hope to continue building community and joy in all of my service sites."
Each week we feature stories of students who have made service a cornerstone of their JCU experience. Complete the form to show us how you #ServeCLE! We’ll share your story on social media and in our weekly e-newsletter. If you’re a CSSA student liaison, you’ll earn points for your mentor group! Submit your service story at https://jcu.edu/myservicestory