Sunday, November 8, 2015

Service Learning at Fordham

Service learning classes are one of the unique educational opportunities offered at Fordham. This semester I'm taking an English class called Homelessness which fulfills one of my core requirements. 

The class is focused on the experience of homeless people through literature. For example, we read a memoir called Grand Central Winter and the short story Maggie: A Girl of the Streets. Each student is required to complete 30 community service hours with a specific organization as part of the course. Our in class discussions connect our service experiences with the texts. The discussions are always thought provoking and often question social problems, prejudices, and injustice.  

My professor is very passionate about the topic and works with formerly homeless people to record their stories. She shared some of her writing with the class and we had the opportunity to meet the men and women in the stories. Earlier this week our class met for a screening of the movie Time Out of Mind where Richard Gere plays a homeless man in New York City. Following this, we discussed the movie along with guests from the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing.

The mission at POTS is to provide a loving community in the Bronx which
serve the basic needs of anyone who comes through it's doors.
This year POTS will serve over 25,000 people.

My favorite part of this class is definitely the service aspect. I volunteer with Part of the Solution, also known as POTS, an organization helping homeless and low-income individuals and families. Located just a few blocks from campus, POTS is a type of community dining room which provides hot meals, clothing, food pantry, and other services for homeless and low income families. I volunteer with their Family Club program where I tutor kids once or twice a week for a few hours while their parents receive a cooking lesson. My experience with the organization has been amazing, and the sense of community and care for individuals is inspiring.

I highly recommend taking a service learning course if you have the chance! These courses are just one of the ways that Fordham students demonstrate a commitment to service and community.

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