Hi! My name is Amanda Janice and I am a first year Master of Public Administration Candidate, in my second quarter of the practicum experience. I am working on a Volunteer and Community Outreach project with Passion Works Studio in Athens, Ohio. Passion Works Studio is a local nonprofit with a government mandate that acts as a creative work-earn site for adults with developmental disabilities. I have worked in the past at a camp for children and adults with developmental disabilities in Akron, Ohio, so when I found out this project was an option, I was overjoyed.
Overall, I have really enjoyed my Applied Student Learning experience. I began this project in the fall working on my own. I created a community outreach plan that I am implementing this quarter. Right now, I am putting the finishing touches on presentation materials that I will be able to take into the community and spread awareness about Passion Works Studio and how community groups can help to support its mission of “inspiring and liberating the human spirit through the arts”.
Working on a solo project for the Practicum can be a challenging experience—you don’t have another student to bounce ideas off of consistently and you become your own support. It has its advantages though. You don’t have to rely on others to get work done; it’s all on you. Luckily for me, this quarter I have had the opportunity to take an undergraduate student on my project. She is a junior Business Administration major, and, much to the Business School’s dismay, she is interested in nonprofits! I now have the opportunity to not only have a partner, but I am learning how to manage a project!
Also this quarter, I am taking on the responsibility of co-chairing our spring Capstone Event with a fellow MPA Student, Meghan. This event is where all of the Applied Student Learning teams present their projects in June. We are meeting for the first time this Friday to discuss strategy. Wish us luck!