Reflections on Service Learning
While working for Disneyland Resorts to pay for her tuition and carrying a full class schedule as a Political Science major, Debbie Shearer made time to join the Association of Political Science Students (APSP) and was elected Finance Controller and President. She was a presenter for Student Research Day and become an active JusticeCorps member. As if that weren't enough, she applied for and received a Washington Center Internship. Debbie's words, "All of the skills that I have strengthened while at CSUDH, give me the confidence that I will be an excellent Washington D.C intern."
As an "investigative intern," I was responsible for delivering subpeona's, interviewing witnesses (either a defense or state attorney's witness), taking pictures at crime scenes, conducting background checks, and typing memos about all of the discovery and work that we did for each particular case. I had the opportunity to work for three attorneys, Mr. Alan Drew, Mr. Samuel Delgado, and Mrs. Theresa Chernosky. I worked on a variety of cases that included rape, assault, child abuse, and felony escape. It was great to see my work used
during a client's case in court.
I also was one of three interns that was selected to assist the public defender's during daily bond hearing at the Montgomery County District Court. I compiled daily charging documents that came in from the jails and brought them to court. I assisted the public defender by sitting co-counsel and listing upcoming court dates and updated bond amounts and informing them whether or not the client qualified for a public defender.
Debbie didn't stop there; she went on to be awarded the coveted Panetta Fellowship:
The Panetta Institute is a Congressional Internship that was created by Mr. Leon Panetta, Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton. There are students from each of the CSU's, and each student is chosen by their Departmentt Chair and approved by the CSU's president. The first part of the program is a two week crash course taught at CSUMB about the roles of the House of Representatives and the day in the life of a Congressman. We live on campus, and after the two weeks we are flown out to D.C. We have interviews this week with Leon and Sylvia Panetta, and they will help us select a member of Congress to work for this Fall. As a Congressional Intern, we will most likely start off by answering phones, responding to emails and mail, drafting letters, and anything else we are asked to do. We have the opportunity to sit in the Gallery during congressional hearing and attend various events while in D.C. All the other interns are really cool and we are get along.
We are such a small group that we are going to rely on each other while on the Eastcoast. My expectations with this internship is to open job opportunities whether in D.C. or back in California. I would like to stay in D.C. but who knows what will happen.
I will be on a job hunt when I return, but after these three internships and graduating, I feel that I my resume looks great!
I will send an update once I am in D.C. to let you know how it is going. Enjoy the photos.
Our hats go off to Debbie for making the most of her internship opportunities. We can't wait to hear from her next.
Trinh Tran-Bass reflects on her service learning experience:
The hands-on experience tutoring and mentoring disadvantaged youth at Addams Elementary School (Long Beach Unified School District) as part of the Education (TED 490) course was a profoundly empowering experience. In addition to enhancing skills such as curriculum development and communication, I developed more patience, empathy, and tolerance. Through reflective exercises, I was challenged to be more self-aware of my own educational experience as an English Language Learner to better recognize and appreciate the abilities and aptitudes of each individual in the classroom as well as other members within the larger community. Understanding the different ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic background of each individual led to a greater understanding of the learner’s needs mentally, emotionally, physically, and socially. I learned how crucial it is to maintain communication within and among multiple institutions that affect the learner’s abilities to excel both academically and civically. TED 490 gave me the opportunity to contribute collaboratively with a large network of teachers, administrators, parents, and other professionals in the community. I gained insight on the various challenges students in urban education face. I understood more clearly the relationship between these struggles within the classroom and those plaguing the urban community.<p>
The support I received from the program is invaluable to my on-going personal development and professional growth in the field of Social Services. My participation in TED’s course instilled a greater sense of pride in my role as mentor, social worker, and positive contributor to the community. I am forever changed by it.
BA, Human Services