More than a decade ago, I met Sister Susan while planning a silent meditation retreat at a local mission. Sister Susan always signed her emails with ‘peace around and within.’ The weight of these four little words have never left me. For each of us, I imagine they would mean slightly different things.
For me, these four words convey a sense of belonging to oneself, to others and mother nature. It serves as a gentle reminder and call to action for leading with intentionality, humility, passion and grace.
Several years ago as part of an annual strategic plan review meeting, each member of the CCE team shared their personal story of how they became involved in community engagement and why they are passionate education advocates.
As we listened to one another, four words emerged that described why each of us do the work we do: we believe people matter. The meaning of this statement is shaped not only by our individual experiences, but also by our shared common purpose.
Our goal is educating students to understand the connections between themselves and those around them through high-quality community programs and service learning.
We treat people like they matter by providing programs and initiatives that are relevant, high quality, effective and sustainable;-that model authentic, reciprocal relationships and true collaboration;-that promote personal growth, self-empowerment and life-long learning; and,-that are grounded in justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.
We are just getting started.