Skyline College Common Day of Action: Connecting Learning with Community Engagement

Common Day of ActionOn Saturday, March 13, 2019, around 110 students and staff participated in the second annual Skyline College Common Day of Action, where they engaged in service learning projects at four different sites: St. Anthony’s Foundation, Second Harvest Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity and Pacifica Beach Coalition. The purpose of Common Day of Action is to connect learning in the classroom with civic engagement, offer students the opportunity to develop leadership skills and become participating members of society.

The day began at Skyline College with breakfast, a warm welcome from Master of Ceremonies Carrie Ramirez, and opening speeches from ASSC student leaders Alejandro Guzman and Ana Giulia Serra, who got the energy flowing before students took off for their respective sites. A total of 15 student leaders from ASSC, Skyline College Middle College and the Promise Scholars Program facilitated pre- and post- reflection activities and provided support during the experience. The participants served in the following projects:

  • At St. Anthony’s, students sorted and hung bins of used clothing while engaging in in-depth reflections on the stigmatization of the poor and the charity model of welfare for economically marginalized communities.
  • At Second Harvest Food Bank, students packed over 15,000 pounds of food into boxes and discussed the issue of food insecurity and its causes.
  • Students at Habitat for Humanity cleaned and organized goods for sale that will help financially support Habitat for Humanity’s mission to build affordable housing and create opportunities for unhoused and low-income families.
  • The crew at the Sharp Park Beach Cleanup focused on cleaning the beach and reducing cigarette butts, which connected to the concepts of reducing waste, buying habits and attitudes about consumerism. They picked up 58 pounds of trash.

The day ended with all groups coming back to Skyline College for lunch and a post-experience activity, where students reflected on their service learning projects, the root causes of the social issues and their role in the community as agents of change. Student Jesse Dominiguez, who participated at St. Anthony’s, emphasized, “Before I did this, I was always on edge when coming across the homeless, but now I can have a conversation with them and just ask what’s wrong.”

The Service Learning Community of Practice, which organized the event, would like to thank Amory Cariadus and Ryan Samn from Student Life, ASSC leaders, the VPI’s office, CTTL, Dean Joe Morello, and Middle College staff for their generous support to make this event happen.

Article by Serena Chu-Mraz, Rika Fabian, Carla Grandy, Jennifer Merrill, Timothy Rottenberg and Sujatha Venkataraman | Photo by Rika Fabian

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