From the Blog
Last week I attended the Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) World Education Congress (WEC) here in Minneapolis, MN — one of THE preeminent conferences for meeting planners and the hospitality industry. It was an incredible opportunity to connect with peers in my industry, gain incredible ideas for this year’s National Service-Learning Conference®, More Powerful Together, and to walk away inspired and energized.
Six years as a K-12 teacher has taught me many things about 21st-Century learners, but one lesson has proven true again and again: when today’s students work together, they can accomplish incredible things.
Nowhere is this truer than in service-learning. Audacious and resourceful, students seek out genuine needs in their community and enthusiastically form partnerships, craft plans, and reflect on outcomes to make a positive difference in the world.
Last year in 9th grade, my government class was assigned a service-learning project. We were told to research a topic we were interested in and volunteer with a related organization. Sarah, my project partner, and I chose to focus on honey bees. We knew there was a problem with the decrease in the population, but after we did some research, we found that it was much more serious than we ever imagined.
Serve. Learn. CHANGE THE WORLD!®
I never really understood the opportunity I would have to do just that until I was selected to be a part of the National Youth Leadership Council's Youth Advisory Council. I applied to be on the YAC after I attended the National Youth Leadership Training in San Francisco, California in the summer of 2013. During the YAC fall retreat at the NYLC offices in Minneapolis, MN, in October 2013, I got to see the other YAC members and NYLC staff again which was awesome because I had missed them terribly since NYLT. After all the hugs and reconnections it was down to business. We knew that a main part of being on the YAC meant that we were part of the team that planned and facilitated part of MONUMENTAL, the 25th Annual National Service-Learning Conference® in Washington D.C. At the retreat we decided on what workshops we wanted to lead at the conference and things like that.