I recently heard from a former student, Jessica Wetmore, and I was very excited to see the ways in which the fundamentals of Spanish community service learning are threaded through the very fabric of everything she seems to do.
Jessica took my two Spanish CBL courses ("Spanish in the Community" and "Spanish & Entrepreneurship") while she was a UIUC student. She worked at both the Refugee Center and Child Care Resource Services. Her Spanish was beautiful (she was a heritage speaker; her mother was from Spain), she had the perspective that international experiences give you, she had worked with Alternative Spring Break on campus, and she was simply smart!
After graduation, Jessica worked with Admission Possible in Minnesota. She wrote to me while she was in that program and encouraged other students to apply. At the time she said: "Admission Possible has ... been recognized in Princeton Review's national search for the 2008 edition of Best Entry-Level Jobs!"
Now Jessica is a student at Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
The program looks very interesting, and the faculty profiles show a rich breadth of research interests. (I recently heard one of their faculty members, David Audretsch, speak at an international entrepreneurship conference.) I think it is also important for our students to click on the "Alumni Success" link so that they can imagine future careers for themselves.
Here are Jessica's own words:
"I just wanted to drop you a note to update you on how I'm doing and thank you so much for writing my recommendation for Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs. My first semester went very well and I'm even more excited about this semester now that I'm getting into my focused classes of Non-profit Management. I'm even talking a "Principles of Social Entrepreneurship" class that is very interesting and I thought of you. I'm also using my Spanish with a work-study sort of program the school offers; I'm working at an HIV/AIDS organization through the local hospital and I'm in charge of the Latino Outreach programs, so I'm getting to use my Spanish and am learning a lot about the HIV and nonprofit field. I really appreciate your help in getting me into this program, since it's such a good fit for me. If you know any students that would be interested in the program or if you want to learn more about it, please let me know and I'd be more than happy to talk about it.
"I hope your semester is going well so far and that things in Champaign are as great as always. No matter how much I love it here, I'm still an Illini at heart and hold your classes dear to my heart.