The last day of the conference was essentially the same as the first weekend, but again with many more participants. This was also the day I did the most reflecting of the challenges I faced at one conference but not the other, assessing the variation in the two events and the actions I took in different scenarios at each conference. While the programming stayed the same, it was interesting to see how I had to change my approach to organizing volunteers and coordinating logistic needs based on the situation.
Similarly to the first weekend on January 25-27, on day two of the conference I helped to coordinate the outing for all of the seminar’s participants as they visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Martin Luther King Memorial in DC. This proved more difficult than the first time, as there were significantly more people, however I worked with the museum staff to make sure everyone got through security – the most difficult task of the day – in an orderly and timely fashion. It was interesting to be able to compare the difference another hundred or so participants makes in organizing an event of this size.
This was my second weekend working the L’Taken Social Justice Seminar for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, this time working with a different team of volunteers. While each weekend uses the same programming, this seminar had a much larger number of participants with over 400 participants and chaperones. In addition, I was able to take on a greater leadership role this weekend as there were more volunteers helping to run the conference that I assisted in organizing.
My main responsibility on the last day of the conference was continuing to coordinate volunteers for programming as well as taking down and collecting any supplies we had used during programming from over the past three days at the conference. I also followed up with chaperones and participants to reflect on their weekend and organized a final staff meeting to assess any areas we excelled in as well as any areas we might need to focus on more for the next weekend.
Day two of the conference included a lot of the same tasks as day one, including setting up for programming and coordinating volunteers. On this day, I also helped organize an outing during which over 300 teens and their chaperones visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Martin Luther King Memorial in DC. This included keeping track of the locations of all 10 busses, staying in constant contact with chaperones, and coordinating timing with the bus drivers.
Lunch Session: I think that performance is a great way to advocate and spark advocating. it gave emotional examples what may have not been their own, but nonetheless show how immigration is experienced by so many different people. Serving has definitely led me to advocacy. I think the direct service I have done has especially pushed me to more of an advocacy side of service. When you have the chance to see the struggles people face first hand I think it really allows you to work with the community and assist them in getting the word out in a way they may not be able to.
Showcase: My favorite showcase session was "Babies Behind Bars".The gave so much insightful information about incarceration that I would never have thought of. One of the biggest things I learned from the presentation was that after a person is rebased they may face issues with their citizenship and rights and privileges that we are granted through US citizenship can be effected and taken away, especially in DC because we aren't a state and people are often sent to jails in other US states.
Panel: I went to "Partnership in Youth Development/Education". This course connected a lot of the topics I have learned in my different community engaged courses this year. Shannon talked about how she looked at the Morton model of service and while trying to use it in her work she found that the most successful use of it is charity, direct service, and social change all inconjuction with each other. Kristen Mcinerney's presentation had many things I could take and connect to my Child and Adolescent Development class. She talked about the difficulty that students coming to the US at a high school age in terms of language barriers and how education can be hard because of this reason. A lot of the things she talked about I was able to look back and connect it to developmental theory.