Monday, September 2, 2013

Week 7

Wow, I can't believe I'm done. It's time to go back to Miami, but I'm going to miss the rescue. I'm not going to miss Nemec at all. This summer taught me that I should be grateful that I never had to stay in Nemec for a whole year. I learned a lot and got a lot done that would help the rescue continue thriving in the future. The experience has made me more confident with dogs and people. Thank you Bonner for this awesome opportunity, I couldn't have imagined ending any other way.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Week 5, Final week

Hey Everyone,

This is my last week with my SoS before I leave for the Innsbruck Program. Working with Courtney and the rest of the RSVP team has been a great experience; so many people have no idea that there is this huge untapped resource in our communities of retired people, and it's a group I think needs to be utilized more.

With all of the other projects I was working on I shared the things I did research on for the retreat with the people in charge so hopefully they get some use of the things I gathered. The Freshman Exploration is still a work in progress but will be completed soon.

See you all in the fall!

Week 4

Hi Everyone,

Things continue to move forward in RSVP, I spend time assisting Courtney in doing office work, planning orientations, and with recruitment. As I mentioned before the larger numbers are difficult to get. I'm not sure if this is because of a lack of interest from retirees in the Volusia County area, or if it's because people who are retired from their careers are still doing some work.

I have begun work on planning the Freshman Exploration, I am going to lay it out at first on what "area" they should explore at what times and I will incorporate the newly selected community partners.

Week 3

Hey Everyone,

Things are still progressing with RSVP, we had one volunteer express interest in working with children but felt this was not the best match for her. So now we have to take some time to convince her that maybe she would be a better fit in the Small Business Disaster Preparedness Program.

With my other projects I have almost complied all of my ideas for the Retreat into an action plan. I am going to look for some guidance on the best way to plan out Freshman Exploration.

Week 2

Hi everyone,

Things are going well with the RSVP Program, though it does look like they'll begin doing some restructuring of the way the Volusia County office is working.

It is a good program, but it seems that in every county in the state the biggest issue they are all facing is that it's difficult to find people to recruit. All of the volunteer coordinators are expected to come up with these large numbers, and in my opinion I think the numbers are a bit too high to expect one person to achieve. I could see how this would become frustrating, especially when to so many people there are no personal benefits.

As far as my other projects are going the Retreat looks promising and I've gotten some feedback. Also I won't need to do anything for orientation so that's a relief.

Week 7 - Project Reflection & Closure

Week 7

       After a looooooong summer of service, I feel a sense of accomplishment with the work I did at my service sites. I played so many different roles at my sites and gained a lot of knowledge in new areas. With BGC, I mainly played the role of a mentor. At Habitat, I did some clerical work and got experience in a professional work setting. I also worked in the ReStore (Habitat Thrift Shop) a couple of days, and attended customers. With the food bank, I worked sorting food and packaging it for distribution in the Sarasota community. I also served as a TA for some nutritional cooking classes for kids and for adults. I enjoyed having a busy schedule, but was thankful for some time to relax before school started up again. I have definitely grown a lot as a person throughout this process. I feel like I'm less inhibited in situations where I have to go do things without knowing anyone. I also met a lot of special people at the BGC and really connected with the kids. I'm definitely gonna be going back during the year to see them, and will be working hard to incorporate some music and art into their lives.

Week 6 - Project Evaluation

Week 6

    The initial project (Bonner Summer Fellows) definitely didn't pan out the way we had anticipated. However, after volunteering with the Boys & Girls club all summer, I have gained some helpful insight about the dynamics of the club and how to interact with the kids. This information will be helpful to share with the campers next year. I've also created solid working relationships with the staff at BGC and my two other sites back home. My favorite thing about this summer is that I was able to work with kids of all ages; both with BGC and the food bank.

    With Habitat, my main project was to clean up their website and update content. They didn't know how to use the software, so I was able to show them the basics and make the site a little easier to navigate. I also helped them extract information from their volunteer database and categorize the volunteers that had been active within the past year. I then transferred those names to an access document which allows habitat the capability of filtering volunteers by age, sex, etc. in order to create mailing lists for their different events.