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Service Learning: Why Should I Do It?

Service learning offers students the chance to apply what they learn to their community.
As a student, I remember how hard it was to focus in many of my classes. This was mostly due
to the lack of certainty that what I was learning would ever be applied to my life. I imagine that
if I had learned the various topics and concepts while committing myself to my community
through service I would have been more eager to learn. Not only can students benefit from
service learning academically, but the society in which they live can benefit from it as well.
If I were to engage in service learning I suspect I would benefit academically, personally,
and as a member or ally of the community involved. The act of serving a community that I care
about would enable the experience to influence me as a student and as a person. As stated by the
American Association of Community College, Service learning has a positive impact on student
learning outcomes, civic engagement, and retention(Robinson). By applying my knowledge,
passion, and enthusiasm to serving a community I would gain a personal relationship with said
community and a sense of personal achievement.
Personally, I believe that a valuable way to become a skilled interpreter would be to
engage in service learning. It is not enough to show up to class, sit in a chair, and try to
remember all of the information that is taught. A crucial part of the job is being involved with the
culture and people that an interpreter will be interacting with; no one can teach the language,
culture, and expectations of the community better than native members. While the members of
the community are generous in welcoming interpreters into their world, they can also benefit
from the service learning as well. The concept of service learning does not only require going out
and getting involved; it is about being intentional in seeking a need of the community, and using
critical thinking skills to brainstorm a way in which to support and/or satisfy that need, then

putting it into action. This helps to build a growing relationship between an interpreter and the
Deaf community.
Service learning offers the opportunity to apply a persons knowledge to an area of
interest in such a way that benefits everyone involved. Anyone participating in service learning
is able to give back to the community while growing as a person, student, and interpreter. It
creates an environment that invites interdependent relationships that support improvements
within people and the society in which they form such a relationship.

Works cited
Robinson, G.. N.p.. Web. 12 Sep 2013. <http://www.aacc.nche.edu/Resources/aaccprograms/
horizons/Pages/default.asp&xgt;.