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Student Reflections

Innovation in Public Service at the University

    • "It was an honor to be on the Public Service Conference's student panel this year; I really enjoyed sharing my experiences and thoughts about public service at the University with fellow fourth-years involved in public service around Grounds and the greater community. Clearly, our areas of interest and expertise ranged widely, which I believe is a testament to the fact that: (1) public service is, and should be, broadly defined, and (2) the University offers a breadth of civic engagement opportunities. It is each individual student's prerogative to decide whether they want to take advantage of these opportunities. As the panel showcased, one way of engaging in service is not better than another -- they are just different. Students can always change the way they participate in and contribute to the community overtime. All in all, I believe the public service conference successfully conveyed that there are an infinite number of ways to get involved in public service at this University as long as students are willing to take the first step and utilize the resources available to them. Also, great job to all those who organized the conference -- your extensive efforts were noticeable and paid off!"
Lily Bowles, CLAS 2012
    • "The Public Service Conference’s biggest success was in creating links between both people and ideas. So many of us already have big dreams and great intentions when it comes to service, but building a network of peers and community members who share those passions makes it so much easier to bring about real change. The panels and the reception were both great ways of answering questions and forming bonds for those looking to get started with service, and I thought Josh Nesbit’s dedication to his work was truly inspiring. Can’t wait for the next conference!"
Katy Hutto, CLAS 2015


    • "The community partner panel was a remarkable event that I think should be required viewing for all students interested in community engagement. It was one of the most earnest and helpful conversations I have seen during my time at U.Va. A wide range of community organizations were present, representing many different types of community partnerships. I learned a lot about best practices for working with community partners. I only wish I could've seen it earlier in my U.Va. career!"
Kevin Pujanauski, CLAS 2012

The Westhaven Afterschool Program

    • "The Westhaven volunteer training was an opportunity for the volunteers to start getting to know the kids as well as a chance to reflect on the reasons why we are volunteering with these students. This reflection is important because it helps us understand that going to Westhaven is more than just something to check off the list or put on our resumes. Our presence is important to the students both socially and academically and we get to learn a lot from them, too. Internalizing this importance will help us dedicate ourselves to the program and the kids throughout the year."
Marisa Mutty, SEAS 2012
    • "Our different backgrounds and experiences all have something to add to the Westhaven afterschool program. After spending an afternoon with the other U.Va. student volunteers, I learned that we have all had unique experiences that give us insight into service in the community, and therefore influence our relationship with community members. The training session allowed us to think reflectively upon the actions we take in volunteering and to be mindful of everyone's different backgrounds, both the volunteers and the kids with whom we're working."
Emily Peters, CLAS 2012

Community Reflections

united way - thomas jefferson area

    • "Over the past year, I have really enjoyed working with Jessica and Julie to post volunteer opportunities on the Learning in Action page. Through the Learning in Action website, we’ve been able to find some amazing volunteers that have really worked out for our office and other nonprofits that we work with. I would strongly recommend using Learning in Action to post volunteer opportunities and events, because you’ll be sure to find engaged and enthusiastic volunteers!"
Jessica Snyder, Volunteer Center Director

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