A Reflection on Service Learning, Public Leadership, and Social Change

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Gwendolyn Coiley


During my four years at Mount Holyoke College, the Community-Based Learning Program (CBL) has given me the unique opportunity to connect with different communities in the area around my college campus known as the Pioneer Valley. These experiences have had a profound impact on the way that I see myself in the world, my academic and personal interests, and my goals for the future. Doing meaningful work in the community and reflecting on what it means to provide service has made me much more aware, critical, and interested in the social challenges our society faces today. My desire to make a positive and lasting impact in people’s lives has grown significantly during my time at Mt. Holyoke, much of this growth taking place in CBL classes and Fellowships. I have learned about privilege, poverty, racism, elitism, and many other societal and structural inequalities that are and will continue to be my driving force in advocating for those who are disadvantaged by the intersecting systems of oppression.

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Coiley, G. (2013). A Reflection on Service Learning, Public Leadership, and Social Change. Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning & Community-Based Research, 2, 1–4. https://doi.org/10.56421/ujslcbr.v2i0.123
Reflective Essays