Our reflection for the week comes from Megan Sutterluety, a senior sociology and criminology major!
YouthAbility is a new service site for me this year. I specifically participate in the Exercise Class service which is where JCU students and young adults participate in dancing, walks, and frisbee while all getting to know each other. YouthAbility is a program that serves physically and developmentally disabled youths. This service site allows JCU students to meet and build relationships with these people all while making sure to get some exercise in!
One thing I have had to unlearn is coming into service with certain expectations. I have always tried to go into service with an idea of who I would meet and how it would be. I thought this would help me prepare myself for the service. Without these expectations, I am better able to be present and immerse myself in the service. I have found that expectations take away from fully seeing everything offered at service sites. Being present not only means building relationships with the service participants but being flexible and learning from those at the service site.
Throughout participating in Youthability Exercise Class I have learned so many things. At the beginning of service, we were told that all of the participants were struggling with something different so as JCU students we were tasked with helping each participant individually for their own needs. Throughout this whole process, I have found it amazing how well the JCU students have adapted for each person and truly figure out how to engage the participants best in an exercise class. I hope to continue to learn how to best help and engage the participants in the class while also building relationships with each individual person. This lesson can be applied in all aspects of life and I fully plan of continuing to learn from the JCU students and Youthability participants.