By Vy Nguyen
This year, OES will send a delegation of four students and two faculties, Kara Tambellini and Julie Sikkink to the National Service-Learning Conference in Saint Paul, Minnesota from March 11th to March 13th.
The National Service-Learning Conference (NSLC) is an annual conference that has previously taken place at locations like Disneyland, California in 2017 and Washington DC in 2015. The first conference was held in 1989 at Minneapolis, Minnesota, and OES has been sending delegations of students since 2012. The conference is a chance for educators and community members to meet up and join in partnership with students to make constructive changes in the world.
The theme for NSLC this year is Justice in Action. Topics discussed in the conference vary from civic education to youth leadership and international volunteer. Students will not only communicate and connect with participants from all over the country but also learn about others’ service-learning progresses through project showcase, student-led workshops, and hands-on service projects.
Aashna M. ‘20, who went to the conference last year and returned this year stated, “Students should expect, if they attend, to be engaged in meaningful conversations and to learn about other service projects that kids and adults have created and are apart of. Coming out of it, students should be inspired to create new opportunities for service in our school and communities. ”
Jennifer L. ‘18, who also attended the conference last year with Aashna, noted “I actually found it life-changing because it changed the way I think about the world and community and what I wanted to get from service. Now, I see service more than just a graduation requirement, but a lifestyle. I am so lucky to have re-found my sense of gratitude and empathy there.”
She also added, “It [the conference] was also at Disneyland last year, so that was also a bonus. There was plenty of free time to hang out with other people and explore the city it’s in.”
The date is approaching, OES delegation will depart on March 10th to participate in the conference. Let’s wish them good luck, and hope that they have fun and bring new ideas back to OES!