YPI Service Learning Reflection
For our YPI project, Lucy, Lucas, David, and I worked with the organization Sanctuary For Families, which provides relief and services to victims of domestic and gender based violence. I was originally nervous to pick domestic violence because I, and the others in my group, felt no particular connection to the subject. However, on our visit to Sanctuary’s offices, I completely changed my mind and instantly became glad we had chosen it. Emily, the woman we met with, explained to us all the types, versions, and forms of domestic violence. She taught us about the cycle of violence and all the effects. At that point, everyone in my group found a reason to care and push for Sanctuary. For me, the most compelling things were hearing about sex trafficking and the negative impacts violence has on children and their education. Through more research outside of class, I started to understand the severity and horror of domestic violence – the way it ended relationships and careers, broke up families, traumatized children, displaced people, and had the potential to permanently destroy someone’s life. About a week before our second in class presentation, my group became more inspired and driven, because we realized how much it would mean to us to help even just one person in a situation like that. I feel really proud of the way we worked together, especially towards the time of the presentation. We all worked so hard on the powerpoint and really studied the material. On this project we all collaborated well, and no one was controlling or felt the need to motivate the group. It makes an incredible difference to work on a project with people who truly care about it.
The day of the presentation, we were concerned we were not prepared enough, even though we had practiced the whole week before. However, after we saw the first round of presentations, I realized we were ready and it didn’t need to be perfect and memorized, because we all knew the material and were able to speak about our topic from the heart. Once we stood up in the meetinghouse, I got extremely nervous. We wanted to do Sanctuary for Families justice with our presentation, and I think that pressure intimidated all of us. Although I feel our delivery was not as good as it could have been, or as it was when we practiced, we said what we felt was important and did our best. I am so proud to have represented an organization as amazing as Sanctuary for Families, but I’m that sad we were not able to help them financially. Yet, it’s reassuring to know that there are other ways I can stay involved. I’ve stayed in contact with Emily, from Sanctuary for Families, and I am planning to volunteer for them next year.