"Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning." Maya Angelou
In order to engage students in the connection between theory and practice, while engaging in community action and participation, we were required to participate in MU Service Learning through the Columbia Public Schools MAC Scholars Program. We were assigned with Douglass High School where we met with 4 young girls every week. We managed a small group mentoring and talked about many things learned in class from self-esteem to violence. This experience allowed us to observe and interact with adolescent African American girls and see first-hand the joys and challenges of being a Black girl in today’s society.
The first couple of days were challenging with the girls as they were hesitant to open up with us. We expected it as they told us upfront that they would be hesitant due to them not knowing us. As the weeks went by we discussed several things we went over in class.
Self Esteem: Girls thought highly of themselves which is accurate to Belgrave studies. They each thought positive of themselves as well as one another. This wasn’t a big issue. They were well aware of some people who had low self esteem.
Violence: The girls had a lot to say about this. With the violence going on in Columbia, they were aware of much violence including Gun violence. They all knew the two guys who got shot last month. They want the violence to stop and feel it will take a lot to change it. The studies in the Cindy D. Ness book: Why Girls Fight, had a lot of accurate studies. One pertaining to if violence runs in the family, children are likely to adapt as well.
Aijania Christian – Sophomore at Douglass - It was a fun experience. I never been in a program like this. I learned a lot from it like the different topics we talked about. I learned to make jewelry and price it too.
Leresha Thurman – Junior at Douglass – “I learn how to make jewelry. (Laugh) it was a good experience. It was something to do since I don’t do anything”
Makiya Harvey – junior at Douglass “It was a learning experience when it comes to how to handle things in the community and how to just handle things period. I would say it was just a learning experience overall”.