UNCG’s motto is “Service,” and I feel that even in my time studying in the LLC, this guiding principle for our institution had a tremendous impact on my studies and my path forward after graduation.
While completing my degree, I was able to enroll in a new Service Learning course offered by the department and taught by Dr. McFadden. My classmates and I partnered with African Services Coalition (a local nonprofit) to complete service hours while working with francophone African immigrant and refugee families. We spent time with parents in their communities, learning about their needs and daily lives, while providing after-school resources to their children. We spent time in the classroom reflecting on this work using academic texts and online discussions. I also had the opportunity to complete a separate internship at the nonprofit that included connecting its clients to vital social services and community resources.
Even in the classroom, outside of such unique coursework, I was able to glean more about the world in ways that pushed me towards leading a life of service. We taught local elementary school students about Japanese language and culture. We studied Quebecois literature and the political identity of French-speaking Canada. We analyzed cinema from filmmakers in the Maghreb and Paris’s banlieu who depicted the lived experiences of women and people of color. We wrote about poetry and art in Latin America post-colonization and human rights movements led by indigenous people. All of this together cemented in me a desire to serve that I had not previously been able to articulate.
I later received my Certificate in Nonprofit Management from UNCG’s Department of Political Science and then completed my Master of Public Policy from The George Washington University in DC, where I currently live. Today, I work for my local government as a public affairs and policy analyst.
When I arrived at UNCG, I did not understand that my path would lead me to becoming a public servant. (In fact, I didn’t come to UNCG intending to study foreign language at all!) However, I couldn’t be happier with the experiences I had, the lessons I learned and the relationships I forged during my time there. I believe that there are so many opportunities that open up by studying Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and it only serves to reinforce each individual’s strengths and helps them explore their potential.