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One of my favorite things to note is progress.  Watching yourself transition from one place to another, whether physically or mentally is such a great thing!  For we are on the earth to grow, to change and to constantly modify ourselves in order to be the best version of ourselves we can be.

As for growth in school, I have really noticed progress in my public relations writing class.  In the beginning, a press release and other small writing assignments took me hours to compose.  It took a while to compose my thoughts and then an even longer time to put them into the correct format. Now in class, we are learning to write feature releases and social media releases.  Although slightly different than traditional press releases and the other things we have been writing, these releases now take me half the time!  Our feature release was about the current birth control debate. Simply the practice and guidance we’ve received in the class so far has made all the difference. I also think I can attribute this growth to ‘simplifying the assignment.’  I have realized that each piece generally can be written by answering the few questions: what are you trying to say, whom are you saying it to, and what do they care the most about?

As much as my brain like numbers and math problems, I really do enjoy writing – and there is so much satisfaction in putting together a solid piece of writing that accurately conveys your message to your targeted audience.  I look forward to each new piece we do as a chance to sharpen my skills.

The writing class also helps with personal growth as it continues to keep us actively engaged in our community.  With the SCVNGR project, we are still in the process of securing a client.  When our group began trying to decide on a client, we really had to dive into the city of Baton Rouge and its nonprofit organizations.  It caused us to evaluate the good things that are being done by various organizations in our community as well as evaluate how we can serve said organizations.  I did not know just how many nonprofits existed here and the various things they do.  For example, I learned about Yelp!, an animal adoption nonprofit, and GaitWay, equine therapy for handicapped residents.

Also, did you know there is an association dedicated to the nonprofits of Louisiana?  LANO is the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations – check it out!

Although it is an added workload, this service-learning class is the perfect way to not only see more of your community, but also give back to it.  College students so often get wrapped up in their campus bubble.  We are leaders of student government, we are active in many clubs and we work hard in our classes…but rarely do we take all of that effort and break the barrier: the barrier of the campus gates.  Our hard efforts are almost always contained solely within the campus.  But through service-learning, I am seeing more of Baton Rouge and putting my efforts outside of the LSU streets.  I am really excited to partner with our client so I can begin serving the nonprofit!

In general, the Manship School is great at engaging students, both in the community and within the school.  They put on a lot of events at night to supplement our classroom learning.  The next event is Tuesday, March 6, 2012: the Super Tuesday Watch Party. We will be following the excitement that is Super Tuesday (when the most states hold primary elections).  There will also be some special guests Skyping in to talk with us!

Here’s more information on Manship’s events.

If asked, “Why do you do good deeds?” what would you say?  I recently asked myself this question…My answer can be summed up best by Ephesians 2:8-10:

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

I do ‘good’ because that is why I (and others) was created.  I tried to answer this question without using faith, but that’s the thing…I honestly could not.  I think that says a lot about the innateness of God in all of us, whether we see it or not.  Humans are selfish; this we know.  But everyone at some point (some more regular than others) gives back, or does ‘good.’  So why, all of a sudden, does a selfish human decide to do something beneficial for others? We were wired this way!  It’s on purpose!  So look inward next time you get the urge to give back; try and think about what motivates you to do so.  You were made to do good things, embrace it! Go help your community!

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