ASC AmeriCorps CSC

Reflections on Service

ASC AmeriCorps CSC Enrollment

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ASC AmeriCorps CSC Scholarship Program Enrollment Outline:

  • Make contact with the AmeriCorps CSC Internship Coordinator at ASC by calling 719.587.8105 or send an email.
  • Your ASC AmeriCorps CSC Coordinator will send you links of information regarding the details of the CSC program.
  • After you have thoroughly read through the information and you feel that you are passionate toward a service project and are capable of dedicating the time availability your service goal will require, make an appointment.
  • Come to your appointment on time! You may also set up a phone appointment, for those of you who are throughout the state (please keep in mind that this process will take longer, as you will be required to mail your paperwork, etc).
  • Your CSC Internship Coordinator will explain the program to you, assess your schedule and interests, answer any questions, and inform you of the program requirements.

Upon enrollment, you will be required: to submit to a criminal background check- which is of no cost to you, submit an availability schedule outline, submit a 900+ (5+ page) word essay explaining your plans of implementation for a service project during your service term, and to agree to a service term contract.

In addition to these requirements, you will also be expected to meet with your service site supervisor prior to meeting for an appointment with your CSC Coordinator. You will then  submit to your CSC Internship Coordinator a document signed by your site supervisor approving your service term and project.

And finally, you will go through our enrollment presentation slide show and take the quiz in an effort to educate yourself with our program. After you complete the Enrollment Packet, we can provide you with a start date toward your service term.

  • After your criminal background has been approved, you will be given a start date for which you may log your hours on and after.
  • Monthly time sheets, reflection questions and Reflections essays (see next bullet) WILL be DUE BY or BEFORE the 10th of every month in order to be logged.
  • Your monthly Reflection essays , due MONTHLY- in addition to your monthly time sheets and reflection questions, will include content in ESSAY FORMAT (700+ words) that explains your service project, how you are planning to implement your service project with your service site, why your service project is necessary, what the community will gain from your service project, what the challenges of your service project hold, etc. In addition to the monthly essay, you will thoroughly answer the standard monthly Reflections form.
  • ALL PAPERWORK WILL BE COMPLETED WITH INK! NO PHOTOCOPY, FAX, EMAIL FORMS WILL BE ACCEPTED.
  • Your service project and the relationship between you and your service site agency and your community will be professional, legal, moral and respectful.
  • Your agency supervisor will provide your Internship Coordinator with THREE evaluations throughout your service term regarding your service project and performance, as well as your Performance Measures.
  • You will have 364 days after your start date to successfully complete your service term contract; if you do not successfully complete your service term contract you will forfeit your award, as well as one of your terms of service with AmeriCorps.
  • You CAN and WILL BE exited unsuccessfully from the program if you fail to turn in your monthly time sheets and Reflections after two consecutive months, fail to provide thorough and detailed monthly Reflections, or otherwise fail to meet the requirements and expectations of our program and/or your service site agency.
  • After you have successfully completed your service term contract, you will be awarded the appropriate amount through an online account; you will be provided instruction as to how to access your award. Your award will not be taxed as income until the year it is used.

If you have any questions, please ask: 719.587.8105 or email- have a great day! Join your community- Serve!

Members will have the advantage of posting Reflections to our CSC  blog site.

*These details are subject to change, please refer to this post frequently.

Written by ASC AmeriCorps CSC

May 27, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Reflective Writing Workshop- October: Education Focus Service Term Defined

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  1. Through your Education Focus service term, what activities are you applying toward the community need you are meeting?
  2. Do you understand what the community need is that you are serving toward?
  3. How does your service term affect your community?
  4. How will your service term prepare you for college? For your upcoming career goals?
  5. What challenges do you foresee occurring? How will you handle these challenges?

 

Written by ASC AmeriCorps CSC

October 21, 2011 at 5:55 pm

CSC Student Member Perspectives

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This month a Civic Engagement Leadership Conference was held at Adams State College to meet and enroll all of our SLV community high school students. Three of our community high schools attended, a grand total of 49 seniors from Centauri, Moffat and Sanford High Schools.

Our student Members were asked to write a page essay, answering CSC Pre-Service Reflection Questions, such as:

  1. What motivates you to pursue this term of service in CSC?
  2. How does your participation in CSC relate to your professional/personal goals?
  3. In what ways do your professional/personal goals support lifelong involvement in your community?

These are some of their responses…

 

“When I serve others it makes me feel good about what I’m doing.”

“I truly believe that a life lived in service is the most important way to spend my time and effort.”

“I feel that in serving others, I not only help them but myself, also.”

“I want to be an inspiration to others.”

“I want to be a positive leader to those around me.”

Thank you, student Members- we are so excited to be working more with you through our Reflective Writing Workshops!

Written by ASC AmeriCorps CSC

September 22, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

AmeriCorps CSC: Prohibited Activities

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AmeriCorps Members, like private citizens, may participate in any of the activities listed below on their own time, at their own expense, and at their own initiative.

Any individual may take part in the prohibited activities, but they may NOT count that time toward an AmeriCorps term of service and may NOT wear AmeriCorps service gear nor represent AmeriCorps in such instances.

PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES FIT INTO SEVEN PRIMARY CATEGORIES:

  1. Political Activities
  • participating in efforts to influence legislation, including state or local ballot initiatives, or lobbying for your program
  • organizing a letter-writing campaign to Congress
  • engaging in partisan political activities, or other activities designed to influence the outcome of an election to any public office
  • participating in, or endorsing, events or activities that are likely to include advocacy for or against political parties, political platforms, political candidates, proposed legislation, or elected officials
  • conducting a voter registration drive
  • organizing or participating in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes

2.    Religious Activities

  • engaging in religious instruction
  • conducting worship services
  • providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship
  • constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship
  • maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship
  • engaging in any form of religious proselytizing

3.    For-Profit Businesses

  • providing a direct benefit to a for-profit entity

4.    Union Activities

  • assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing
  • impairing existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements

5.    Abortion Services

  • providing abortion services or making referrals for such services

6.    Safety Factors

  • participating in activities that pose a significant safety risk
  • completing projects without supervision
  • conducting service at a private residence or any unauthorized site
  • let your service site know if you have any health or physical issues of which they should be aware that require accommodation
  • wear clothing that is appropriate to your volunteer environment and to the work that you are doing
  • any injury, no matter how small, should be reported at once to your Site Supervisor and CSC Coordinator
  • If you feel your safety is at risk during service hours, please contact your Site Supervisor or CSC Coordinator immediately.

7.    Fundraising

Assisting organizations with major fundraising efforts, raising funds for an organization’s general operating (as opposed to project) expenses or endowment, and writing a grant application to the Corporation or other Federal agency. However, Corporation policy permits some limited activities related to fundraising by AmeriCorps Members to the extent that such activities:

  • are directly related to the Member’s Direct Service Project
  • provide immediate and direct support to a specific and direct service activity
  • are NOT the primary activity of the program

Examples of fundraising activities Members may perform include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • seeking donations of books from companies and individuals for a program in which volunteers tutor children in reading
  • writing a grant proposal to secure resources to support the training of volunteers
  • securing supplies and equipment from the community to enable volunteers to help build houses for low-income individuals
  • seeking a donation from alumni of the program for specific service projects being performed by current Members
  • soliciting for in-kind donations (e.g. Member elicits recycled lumber to repair a home damaged by a hurricane)
  • organizing a bake sale or yard sale to support a program or project

An AmeriCorps CSC Member may spend no more than 10% of his or her originally agreed-upon term of service, as reflected in the Member Enrollment in the federal AmeriCorps database.

 

 

Written by ASC AmeriCorps CSC

August 22, 2011 at 9:00 pm

ASC AmeriCorps CSC meets PROTEGE

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It has been a pretty exciting and eventful summer here at ASC!

In order of events, our AmeriCorps funding was threatened, then we won our funding with the agreement that we would restructure our entire program, and then we gained an employee here in the Development Education/AmeriCorps office: Miss Erica Holmes- who created a new mentoring program here at Adams State that will help buffer some of the restructuring obstacles the PROTEGE Program.

The PROTEGE Program will coexist with the established and successful STAY (Structured Transitional Academic Year) Program and the ASC AmeriCorps CSC Program. PROTEGE will enroll and train ASC students who have successfully passed ASC AAA101 or are co-enrolled with a 2.0 GPA or Good Academic Standing. PROTEGE training will occur throughout the fall semester and mentoring will begin spring semester.

The PROTEGE Program will be an awesome program for ASC for a number of reasons:

  1. a dual-focus approach strives not only to help high school students achieve the dream of attending college, but also to develop leadership skills, provide insight to social awareness, and to encourage and enhance study skills and academic excellence for ASC students.
  2. a project design created to enhance attendance retention, academic performance, and college enrollment.
  3. a social bonus to foster healthy mentor/peer relationships that will develop our students into compassionate leaders who understand the importance of service.

ASC students who take part in the PROTEGE Program will receive training on time management, note-taking, goal setting, and study planning, long with financial literacy, the college application process, accessing campus resources and conflict resolution, that will not only allow them to mentor high school students but will enhance their knowledge of these topics as well.

ASC PROTEGE Mentors will be eligible for an AmeriCorps CSC Internship Scholarship upon successful completion of required hours spent mentoring students. High school students who take part in the PROTEGE Program will be better prepared for the transition into college and will develop relationships that will enhance their college experience.

For further information, email Erica Holmes at ascmentor@adams.edu, or myself, Jamie VanZuuk at ascamericorps@adams.edu, or call at 719.587.8105, or please stop by our office to chat in RH, room 217.

Click here for a PROTEGE Program Application.

We look forward to meeting with you!

Written by ASC AmeriCorps CSC

August 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm

A Personal Reflection Essay

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I came across this reflection essay excerpt, and I wanted to share it with you to give you an example of what I will be expecting to see through the required monthly essay reflections, which is a huge part of what being a Member of the ASC AmeriCorps CSC program is all about. Obviously, the content you reflect on will vary depending on your service project, still, the level of reflection portrayed in this essay is what I would like you to concentrate on.

This essay emphasizes the writers reflections on her cultural identity, power dynamics, and her motivations for service learning:

“I, like so many in this field, am passionate about the work of supporting people in higher education and in communities in creating collaborative and equitable social change. It is a profession in which I have learned an enormous amount about myself, others, students, institutions, communities, and the joys and struggles of creating a more inclusive and equitable world. At the same time, I recognize that my choice of this career path wasn’t totally by chance. Growing up in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s, I, like many women and girls today, was tracked into a subset of professions. Subtly and not-so-subtly, I was encouraged and expected to be of service to others. I was not conscious of chossing a field that fit within the boundaries of female social norms, but that is what I did. In fact I remember rejecting certain career choices because they were still outside the norm for a woman. I remember choosing not to pursue a career of a television reporter because a man told me, and I believed him, “You won’t be able to carry the heavy equipment.”

While on one hand I was told “You won’t be able to carry the heavy equipment,” I was also told, “If you work hard, you will be successful.” As a white person, I saw myself and other people of my race be rewarded, sometimes for what might be considered hard work but often for knowing people in positions of power, often also white, who provided access to opportunities; going to well-resourced schools where the great majority of teachers and principals were also white; or getting a head start in life because neither of my parents had to navigate racial discrimination to go to and graduate from college or buy a home. As I began to learn more about my family’s history and that of other racial and cultural groups, I realized the pull-yourself-up-by-your-boot-straps metaphor was a myth. I learned that people who had become successful financially did not do so by themselves but rather with the help of, and often (intentionally or unintentionally) at the expense of, others. I began to learn more about social inequities and the ways our current institutions, created long ago, continue to reinforce that inequity. I also began to learn how I as an individual have reinforced those inequities, often unknowingly, and have had a negative impact on others. I then began to learn that with some work, I could become more aware of how I was reinforcing institutional inequities and build my skills to play a part in interrupting them.

Upon reflection, I can see now how my initial interest in interrupting oppression (a new awareness that, in part, led me to community service-learning work) was to “help people who were oppressed.” I remember my surprise when I took an assessment of White Racial Identity Development and discovered that my “Pseudo-Independence” was not as evolved in terms of developing a positive white racial identity as I had thought. While I did recognize that racism was rampant on the personal, relationship, organizational, and institutional levels, and that I contributed to it and benefited from it, I didn’t recognize how my pity and patronizing attitude could actually reinforce the oppression I sought to interrupt. At the time, class work opened my eyes much wider, I was also a graduate assistant promoting co-curricular community service-learning. I began to see how my motivations for “helping” the community were about meeting my need to feel valuable rather than about a shared need for us all to feel whole. Years later, I found myself repeatedly hitting a wall when I tried to make institutional changes from my equity-oriented motivation. I was not aware that my primary motivation was not everyone’s primary motivation and I had judgments that mine was best, right, and the most noble. Rather than recognizing all our motivations as complementary, I saw them as competing.

For example, I firmly believed that student leaders, community partners, and faculty attending a community service-learning summer institute all brought something critical to the table, that everyone would contribute as both teachers and as learners, and therefore that that everyone deserved to be paid the same daily rate that faculty were guaranteed in their contracts. While faculty and community partner staff had many years of experience and very valuable teaching and community leadership experience, some of the student leaders had the deepest understanding of community service-learning and had life experience that helped them enter and participate in the community with greater awareness and skill than those of us who were not from similar communities.

After several conversations- or, I might more accurately say, after a series of parallel monologues in which the person in the position to make the decision and I were not really hearing each other- we eventually came to agreement. All participants would be paid the same amount. However, on reflection, each of our inability to recognize and validate the others’ frames made the process of reaching agreement quite contentious. In the end, while I may have felt right by “winning” the argument, in hindsight I also lost the opportunity to engage in true democratic dialogue and strengthen relationships across differences. I can see how my white social conditioning (and perhaps the person I was in conflict with) created this binary perspective of right/wrong or win/lose, when other options were available to us. In this situation, I chose to prioritize my passion for equity over my passion for authentic relationships. I could have paid better attention to both; now I can see that my passion for equity cannot be realized without a commitment to authentic relationships, and my desire for authentic relationships cannot be achieved without a commitment to equity. Had I asked about, listened openly to, and honored these different motivations, along with my own, I might have experienced less difficulty.

While I have focused here on how my socialization (in relation to my gender and race) has impacted my motivations for engaging in community service-learning work (and there is much more, such as how I facilitate and how I have experienced, avoided, and worked with conflict), there has been much to explore about the ways other aspects of my identity (sexual orientation, class, religion, upbringing, physical abilities, age, etc.) are also big factors in shaping my motivations for this work.

excerpt taken from- Jacoby, B. and Pamela Mutascio. “Looking In, Reaching Out- a Reflective Guide for Community Service-Learning Professionals.” Campus Compact. 2010.

I hope that this reflection essay excerpt gives you an example of what is needed throughout your service project internship, and inspires you to reach outside of your comfort zone and go a step further through the reflective process.

Written by ASC AmeriCorps CSC

August 3, 2011 at 7:45 pm

AmeriCorps CSC: Service Project Proposal Essay

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The Campus Opportunity Outreach League (COOL) created a model for reflective thinking:

“What? So what? Now what?”

As you begin to contemplate your service project proposals, keep these reflective questions in mind- What? So what? Now what?- and you may discover a service project idea that you would have originally looked over. I have added a few questions to ask yourself as you compose your service project proposal essay:

  • Why are you developing a service-learning internship project? How will K12 students/members of the community benefit? What community needs will be addressed?
  • What is your essential or guiding question for this project?
  • What state standards will be met (if applicable)?
  • What civic skills, attributes or knowledge will be fostered through this experience?
  1. Do you have an understanding of community resources and organizations?
  2. What is your level of awareness of community issues?
  3. Do you have the ability to find personal values and beliefs about an issue?
  4. Do you have the ability to use logical argument to support values and beliefs?
  5. To you have the ability to understand the root causes of issues?
  6. Do you have the ability to connect community issues with service learning?
  • What career-related skills, attributes or knowledge will be fostered through this experience?
  1. Critical-thinking and problem-solving skills?
  2. The ability to work as part of a team?
  3. The ability to assume different group roles?
  4. An increased performance in self-direction and active learning?
  5. A heightened self-esteem?
  6. The ability to take pride in success?
  • How will the product or service be of value to the greater community?
  1. Will your project develop positive school-community relationships?
  2. Will your project address a stated community need?
  3. Will your project help individuals meet basic needs?
  4. Will your project create public awareness of important issues?
  5. Will your project give a voice to marginalized groups?
  6. Will your project provide community members with new opportunities to learn?
  7. Will your project create an opportunity for community members to feel valued?
  • How will you maximize the role and resources of the community?
  1. How will you communicate with community partners consistently throughout your service-learning project experience?
  2. How will you design goals and expectations in collaboration with community partner(s)?
  3. How will you identify program needs and determine ways the community can support your service project?
  4. How will you involve community partners in reflection and debriefing sessions?
  5. How will you provide opportunities for the community to assess your service project?
  6. How will you invite community partners to the academic environments for celebratory activities?
  • What knowledge and/or skills must you meet before being able to propose/work toward your service project goals?
  1. What is your knowledge of the content?
  2. What are your current skills? What are the skills you will need to work on?
  3. What preparation will you offer for the community partner?
  • How will students/community members/community agencies be involved in the design and implementation of your project?
  • What resources, transportation, supplies and/or equipment will you need to carry out your service goals?
  • How will the impact of the student(s)/community members/community partner(s) be assessed?
  1. written reflections
  2. survey/questionnaire
  3. observation
  4. observation and analysis
  5. roundtable with community partner(s)
  6. quality of result
  • How will success be celebrated?
  • How will you let others know about your service project (and results)?
  1. write a press release
  2. send photos and article to school newsletter, community newspaper, etc
  3. invite students, staff and parents to a project preview presentation
  4. make an announcement at a school event
  5. post pictures/reflections on a bulletin board or blog

Good luck to you- I am eager to hear how your projects will empower our community!

AmeriCorps CSC: Mental Health Service Project Criteria

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World Health Organization (WHO) definition of mental health:

“Mental health refers to a broad array of activities directly or indirectly related to the mental well-being component included in the WHO’s definition of health: a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease. It is related to the promotion of well-being, the prevention of mental disorders, and the treatment and rehabilitation of people affected by mental disorders.”

The practice of clinical social work includes: The practice of mental health therapy by observation, description, evaluation, interpretation, intervention, and treatment to modify behavior through applying generally recognized professional social work principles, methods, and procedures in order to prevent, treat, or eliminate mental or emotional illness or dysfunction.

Appropriate Direct Service (DS) activities:

  • Assessment: assess client’s mental, emotional and/or behavioral disorders. Sample activities under assessment: intake; interviewing of potential clients of services; collecting client information around background, history, issues, service needs, strengths and limitations; assessing the appropriateness of the services for the client.
  • Planning: recognition of treatment options; appropriate referral; recognize and assist in client self-determinism; empowering clients to assist in process of moving toward healthy choices. Sample activities under planning: formal and informal planning for service delivery; consultation with personnel around service needs and physical, mental and behavioral issues; referrals to other services.
  • Treatment and/or Clinical Intervention: Help clients effectively adapt to the concerns presented through individual, group or family counseling. Sample activities under treatment and/or intervention: facilitating processing-based groups or individual sessions; treatment or clinical intervention for individuals, groups and families; professional documentation of services.
  • Evaluation and Termination: review effectiveness of treatment and/or intervention and use of appropriate termination process. Sample activities under evaluation and termination: participation in supervision and staffing to discuss client-specific treatment; professional documentation of services; determination of evidence for effectiveness, and creating tools as a process for measuring effectiveness; planned termination with appropriate time for clients to process the termination, reflect on the treatment and the goals met and as yet unmet with client; planning for next steps, including possible referral; assisting in the referral process to maximize the effectiveness of that process.

Appropriate Indirect Service (IS) activities:

  • Personal reflection on the strategies for change.
  • Participation in supervision, staffing meetings to discuss general client/consumer treatment.
  • Attending conferences related to mental health counseling.

Service activities that would NOT qualify:

  • Policy advocacy, always prohibited.
  • Educational tutoring with individuals who are struggling with mental health disorders.
  • Indirect services that include curriculum development.
  • Facilitating individual or group sessions not related to mental health counseling.
  • Transporting clients to appointments or venues not related to mental health counseling.

 

Written by ASC AmeriCorps CSC

August 1, 2011 at 10:17 pm

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