At the onset of the course, I thought I was settling for a site on-campus and missing out on the opportunity to build my professional resume. At the end of the course, I am glad I didn’t go off campus and stuck with the advice my professor Betsy Hays gave me when I was undecided on where to go. I enjoyed being at the meetings, interacting with faculty members and other students completing their service-learning hours. It was also a great lesson in how to conduct a productive meeting and how to leave space for every voice to be heard.
Fortunately, I shadowed someone who had a great amount of knowledge about university life and a passion for helping students at Fresno State. The Food Insecurity and Hunger Awareness Banquet was a success, despite the few kinks here and there. We had over 180 people purchase tickets and made approximately $4,844 that evening. People were able to interact and engage around the issue of food insecurity. At my table, one gentleman shared a piece of the chicken on his plate with another gentleman who only had spaghetti to eat. It was a poignant simulation and we were able to highlight the solutions, like the Student Cupboard.
I am in total support of service-learning after this class. I was already a leader in service through the Richter Center, but this experience was different considering the fact that I was working very closely with professionals in academia. Students in a service-learning course like Introduction to Public Relations benefit from this type of work because it fosters a sort of two-way symmetrical communication. You are able to serve your organization, while the organization teaches you the importance of their mission.