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reflections on Community engagement and Service-Learning: Essay Competition

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For service learning students at California State University, Los Angeles, learning does not begin and end in the classroom.  It takes place in the community, where students are making a difference, addressing social issues, and working with individuals and agencies in diverse Los Angeles communities. We would like to know more about the many ways students are contributing to the community and putting academics into action. We’re looking for a brief, engaging story about your service learning experience.  You might consider some of the following questions: How did you put your academics into action? How did you serve individuals, agencies, and communities? What did you learn about the community? How did the experience change you? How did it change your understanding of social issues? How did it make your coursework meaningful? What did you learn about your role in the community? If you have any photos, please include them as well. Reflections will be reviewed by the Community Engagement and Service Learning Advisory Committee. The best essays will be awarded with coupons from the CSULA bookstore and published on the website of the Office of Community Engagement.

First place: $50 CSULA bookstore coupon for an educational item.

Second place: $25 CSULA bookstore coupon for an educational item.

Third place: $10 CSULA bookstore coupon for an educational item

Entering the contest is easy! Just share your story with us. You have probably already written reflection papers for your service learning course. Feel free to submit one of these to the competition.

Format: Stories should be approximately 500 words (two double-spaced pages). Be sure to include the following: a) your name and contact information; b) course name, number, quarter, and instructor; c) name of community agency, supervisor, and agency contact information. Submit your essays by email to  

Deadline for submissions: Tuesday, June 2, 2010

Permissions: Submission of the reflection signifies that the entrant grants permission to Cal State University Los Angeles and the Office of Community Engagement at CSULA to use submitted essays or photos without notifying him or her. Essays and photos may appear in university sponsored websites, promotions, broadcasts advertisements, posters, slides, and other venues as well as for non-university purposes.  Entrant waives right to inspect or approve finished essays or images or any electronic matter that may be used with them.  Authors will always be credited for their work but will receive no compensation other than educational items announced above. The entrant releases the CSU and its employees and agents, including any firm authorized to publish and/or distribute a finished product containing the images, from any claims, damages or liability which he or she may ever have in connection with the taking of use of the images or printed material used with the images.

If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Hawley, Faculty Director of Community Engagement, at 323-343-5969 or

5151 State University Drive . Los Angeles . CA 90032 . (323) 343-3000
© 2008 Trustees of the California State University

Last Update: 01/25/2010