Community Involvement at Simmons

July 16, 2014

Elizabeth Zimmerman

Eliza Zimmerman '15 volunteered at More Than Words for her service learning project.

For more than 100 years, we have inspired our students to combine learning with action to create a more just and equitable world. Working closely with nearly 60 community-based organizations, The Scott/Ross Center for Community Service advances this commitment to visionary education and civic engagement. Eliza is a nursing major who spent her semester volunteering. we got to ask her a few questions!

What are you studying at Simmons?

I'm a nursing major.

Where did you volunteer for service learning? What did the organization do?

I volunteered at a non-profit called More than Words located in South Boston. More than Words works with at risk youth to help them take charge of their lives by working at a business. The organization functions as a retail and online used book business that allows the participants to learn employment skills as well as transition to adulthood.

What was a typical day like as a volunteer?

My service learning project was different than typical volunteer work, as our group only met a few times. The goal of our project was to create a tour of Simmons as well as a 'Transition to College Workshop' for the youth. My group and I typically met a few times per week in a library study room to organize our research and create the final project.

What was your favorite part of your work?

Presenting our workshop and giving a tour of Simmons to the highschoolers from More than Words. It was really fulfilling to interact with the youth because they expressed that the information they were receiving was very valuable to them. I felt that I actually made a difference and was successful in getting the youth interested in college.

What were some of the greatest lessons you learned from your experience?

Communication is key! I was lucky that I had a very cohesive service learning group. Multiple group members bring varying ideas which can be productive or chaotic. This project for my MGMT 100 class allowed me to be hands on in coming up with a business plan. The most important thing I learned is that in order for plans to run smoothly, communication is #1!

What advice would you give to students interested in volunteer work?

Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. When I visited More than Words, I didn't know what I was getting into. I was enthusiastic about bringing something to the students, but the reality of it is that I learned much more from them than I ever expected. If you're considering volunteering, stop considering - go out there and do it! Whether in the classroom or through the Scott Ross Center, Simmons provides so many opportunities for for students to volunteer. You may even discover new interests that could help pave your career.

I love Simmons because.....

100% the faculty! They encourage and challenge me to be the best student I can be. Simmons is preparing me to be a valuable candidate when I enter the workforce. This service learning project for the MGMT 100 class is just one of the many real world examples that is helping to prepare me for working life.