Creating Social Value Blog / Service in Action

Summer Corps Week 2

The Verizon Innovative program has been very different from what I thought it would be. When I accepted the job I imagined working with my co-mentors to put an entrepreneurship-focused curriculum together and then teaching the lessons to a set of eager kids interested in business. However, this is not quite what I experienced my first week at this program. I was introduced to staff that already had lessons planned and students who were learning to speak English, with little or no interest in business.

The first week of this program I felt like I was more of an observer rather than I participant in the program. Since I don’t speak Spanish very well, I wasn’t able to communicate with many of my students. I also wasn’t given the opportunity to teach them about any of the business topics that me and my co-mentors had talked about sharing. I left the first week wondering if I had might the right choice in participating in this program.

The second week however was an amazing week and was filled with many unforgettable and rewarding moments. Instead of being an observer, my co-mentors and tried very hard to participate and be active members in the classroom. The mentors and I were all able to create presentations and teach the students about topics that we were interested in and passionate about. We also were assigned small groups of students to work with where we could further teach them about entrepreneurship and talk to them about our experiences at Babson. The language barrier was still a minor challenge, but I started translating my PowerPoint slides so my students would understand the topics more. I also started asking my students to teach me some words in Spanish. Instead of only teaching business, the students began teaching me and I became the student. The environment of the classroom began shifting. Everyone in the room was constantly learning and the students were becoming more comfortable. The participation and engagement began to grow and we have been able to hear some amazing ideas that the students have. I left the second week knowing I had made the right choice and excited to come back the following week.

-Rebecca Hadfield