Sunday, December 6, 2009

Partner Spotlight: UTEP Center for Civic Engagement

Giving college students the opportunity to gain service-learning experience, the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) at UTEP has included Latinitas as one of its service project offerings.

"The ultimate goal of the partnership between the CCE and Latinitas is to have UTEP students be able to correlate what they are learning in their course to what they are doing while participating in the program. As well as the UTEP student providing a service to Latinitas that allows for the organization to meet their goals and mission," Jennifer Rodriguez, Service Learning Coordinator for the center, said of the year-long partnership.

Known as "Reflection," students who volunteer through the center are not only able to recognize their impact on the community and the organization, but also on their own careers and education. While working with Latinitas, student participants become club mentors to dozens of young Latina girls around El Paso at Club Latinitas sessions held in public libraries around town. UTEP students participate in "group discussions, mentor participants, provide girls with direction, serve as role models, guide activities and help with set-up and breakdown," Rodriguez added.

One CCE member that volunteered through Latinitas earlier this year described her experience as one she will not soon forget.

"It taught me to be a role model for the girls. It made me happy to be someone that they can look up to," the volunteer said.

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