Guest Blogger Alexis Everson: Connect with Your St. Kate's Community

Community Engaged Learning

Not sure if St. Catherine University is going to present you with opportunities to get involved? As a current St. Catherine University student, I can honestly say that through the incorporation of community engaged learning courses at St. Kates, my education has been elevated to a new level through the introduction to many other communities and cultures.

I have taken many classes at St. Kate's that integrate community engaged learning through the Community Work and Learning office and have found them really influential in my education! Not only do they connect students with people and organizations they may not have interacted with otherwise, but they also introduce students to cultures and communities that are unfamiliar to them.

One of my favorite examples of community engaged learning was when I had the opportunity to volunteer at an organization called CAPI, USA. CAPI, USA is a resource for immigrants that offers a plethora of services including tax help, registration help, English classes and much more! I volunteered in the food shelf at CAPI with the sweetest Hmong man named Smidchei and we got to help immigrants bring food home to their families and had many lovely conversations. I also got to use my eight years of Spanish while assisting people with their shopping. In our downtime, Smidchei told me a bit about how he loves working for CAPI, as they assist many people in the Hmong community where other organizations don't help Hmong people.

Through my experience at CAPI, USA and many other organizations I've been introduced to through St. Catherine University, I better understand people from all kinds of backgrounds. Having the ability to connect with people of all different cultures is a very valuable skill to have in the future workplace and world. St. Kate's gave me the opportunity to interact with others in a fun, social setting while still doing coursework, to enhance my learning by letting me step outside the classroom and to use my leadership skills in new ways with new people.