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Use the perspectives and understandings about yourself that you have gained from both the Clifton Strengths Finder assessment and the Values, Beliefs, and Personal Bias assignment to identify a cause that is meaningful to you, one that you can contribute to as part of our service learning project for social change to support it. You will work towards completing this project throughout this course as your final project.  The authors of A Social Change Model of Leadership explained that “If knowledge is connected to something that you really care about, you will be more likely to act on it. “Commitment is a decision of the heart and mind to follow one course of action rather than another” (Fairholm, 1994, p. 122). It is both liberating and limiting. To decide to be an English major means you will likely never be a biologist. If you loved both fields of study, a commitment to one means grieving over the inability to devote energy to the other. Commitment means taking action. Our commitments to action are usually predicated on our most deeply felt beliefs. Consider how your beliefs can influence your behavior. For example, because you believe that people should treat each other with dignity and respect, you might volunteer to be on an inter-fraternity task force group on hazing. Because you believe deeply in social justice and equality, you might establish or join a group that studies and advocates for changes in campus admissions policies. Because you believe that children in an inner-city setting lack many of the opportunities that other children take for granted, you may volunteer weekly to tutor young children. “Commitment is a personal attitude or value that excites us to do whatever needs to be done because we see the need. More than mere identification of intent, commitment is doing. The attitude of commitment flows out of our beliefs and values and is part of our definition of who we are” (Fairholm, 1994, p. 121). It is important to link our motivated actions back to an articulation of our beliefs: “I have decided to do this, because I feel profoundly about that” (Astin & Astin, 1996, pp. 41-42).   

Other ideas for a service-learning project or change-action project (these terms are used interchangeably in the textbook) include:

If you value family, health, serving others, and caring, perhaps you would like to find a way to help homeless families and would opt for a service-learning project at someplace like Second Harvest Food Bank; or perhaps at a homeless shelter, or even at a non-profit service organization that supports families with children who are facing a medical crisis, such as the Ronald McDonald House. Students who have an emphasis on psychology, public policy, sociology, anthropology, and even life sciences coursework may find this type of service-learning to be closely aligned with their academic learning.

Perhaps you value adventure, caring, and creativity, and you have a deep love for the outdoors. A service-learning opportunity that might appeal to you could be connected to the environment, a project with a local river rehabilitation group, or beach clean-up, or even one in which you work to protect the sea turtle nests on Florida’s beaches. Students who have coursework in environmental science, biology, public policy, and even environmental engineering may find this type of service-learning to be an extension of the type of academic work they have completed. 

This discussion is a brainstorming opportunity, please use your colleague’s as a “hive mind” to help you in your brainstorming regarding your planned service-learning project. 

Post your top three values in your discussion response and your thoughts and ideas on current social or environmental issues that reflect those values. 

Initial post

Copy & Paste the below into your initial post:

Top three values:

Issues that reflect those values:

Cause meaningful to me: 

Possible Project Idea:

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