All 11th and 12th graders at JJSE do community-based internships every week on Wednesday afternoons. Below are some examples:
Age Song Elderly Home
“Jazmin is AMAZING! She even comes on Saturdays to spend time with our elders. They love her and wish she could be here everyday.” ~ Age Song Program Coordinator Chris Black
As I walked into the elderly home, I see Jazmin directly ahead sitting next to an man helping him contribute to the giant crossword puzzle activity that is taking place. I notice that she seems incredibly comfortable and at ease. Throughout the time I spent there I see Jazmin doing a variety of different tasks, including supporting our 10th grade service-learning students as they work through some of the discomfort of being in a new place with new people, but what is most notable is the compassion and care she showed for the residents there and one man in particular, Michael (pictured above). She sat and talked with him, retrieved his cane when he forgot it at his seat, and gently supported him with her arm around his shoulders as he walked. As I left the site with Jazmin, she told me that she used to care for her grandpa when he got sick, changing him, feeding him, and caring for him. He raised her until she was 7 and recently passed away 2 months ago. She said that after he passed, she soon started coming to Age Song and transitioned her care and compassion for her grandpa to the folks at this home. Jazmin wants to be a nurse or psychologist because, as she says, she is really good at listening to people. She sees her internship at Age Song as a time to practice those skills, saying that most times folks there want someone to talk to and she is really happy to sit with them and listen. Here’s a quote about her experience from Jazmin “Some people no matter how old they get never lose their beauty, they merely move it from their faces to their hearts.”
LocoBloco Dance Class
“Carmen has really grown since her first day with us. She used to be hesitant about speaking in front of the group but now she is really comfortable and has taken on more leadership. The kids really look up to her”. LocoBloco Dance Teacher – Jessica
Carmen was all smiles throughout the dance class at LocoBloco. She went from playing the drums to leading a small group of kids to come up with their own dance moves to symbolize the element “fire”. At the end of the class she led the whole group in their reflection and giving out ‘stars’ for their participation throughout the day. As we chatted at the end of the class, Carmen reflected on how she’s gotten more comfortable in her leadership and how her relationships with the students in the class have gotten stronger even over these first few weeks.