ServiceWorks Program Advances, Addresses Bullying, Violence
By: Khadija Carr, CPDC ServiceWorks
Volunteer service requires heavy lifting and the ServiceWorks VISTAS are up for the challenge!
Closing out cycle 1, with 62 scholars enrolled and 45 scholars graduated, we knew that building intentional relationships with key organizations and partners would be key to our success in cycle 2.
With the Mayfair Mansions community next on deck, we devised a plan to increase our visibility in the area through door knocking, tabling, canvassing, and classroom visits. Kicking off cycle 2 with a conference-styled boot camp, we honored Dr. King’s legacy through service and professional development.
Following our MLK success we began our five-week program and the scholars took an energetic leap. Noting bullying, harassment, and drug abuse as issue areas, the scholars honed in on violence as their focus.
Through 5 weeks of debates and comradery in the skill building modules, the ServiceWorks scholars devised and carried out a Speak Out Against Violence event where they engaged 17 community members in thought-provoking dialogue regarding effects of violence and preventative measures one can take.
At the recent scholar gradation celebration, special guests Nathaniel Goodwin of Concerned Black Men and Trouble’D Thoughts, author of Tears of a Teenage Mother and My Family Tree disrupted the narrative that “no good can come of violence.” Both men shared testimonies of community organizing and liberation strategies arising from community violence.
To close out that night, the scholars and success coaches shared highlights and best wishes; a sense of hope permeated the evening.
Though the formal cohort has come to an end, it’s up to the 20 young ServiceWorks scholars to take the reins and lead their lives in the direction towards their goals.
We are ecstatic to see what comes next for these engaged and dynamic youth!
Khadija Carr hails from Silver Spring, Maryland and has called it home for all of her life. She is a graduate of Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Biology. In college, Khadija was very active in service and leadership as a Community Senate Secretary, Resident Advisor, and Multicultural Leadership Scholar. In addition, as a Principled Problem Solving Scholar, she gained a keen understanding about the connection between business and crafting social good. As a ServiceWorks AmeriCorps VISTA, she looks forward to leveraging her passion for equity and inclusion to create meaningful ways to engage youth.