Ginsberg Center Community Engagement FellowshipErkina Sartbaeva
I am Erkina. I am majoring in Neuroscience, and minoring in Art & Design. I decided to join Ginsberg Center Community Engagement Fellowship because I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, learn something out of my area of study while still give back to the community. Volunteering and giving back has been a big part of my life, but this program offered more than that. It offered an opportunity to learn more about myself, learn my strengths and improve on my weaknesses. I had an amazing opportunity to work with INterfaith council for peace and justice, whose mission is to promote peace and justice in all aspects of the world's conflicts.i have mainly worked with "Sanctuary Project". I have been involved in educating and reaching out to people and congregations to offer any form of help to immigrants.
I learned more about sanctuary project and The amount of patience, time, and cooperation it takes to actually carry out a project. I learned to take ownership of my actions/decisions. As well as learned to ask for help/guidance.
This experience has reinforces my conceptualization of service and community engagement as wel as conceptualization of leadership. I have always believed that the definition of a leader is to have passion/vision to accomplish something for a better greater cause through a cooperation and work of people of similar passion. Through this experience, i have witnessed the hard work of a very small organization. The leaders of this organization are very passionate about their mission, and i confirmed that the number sometimes does not matter as much as the amount of passion one has for a cause.
Sanctuary Project: Learned about the community issue with deportation of immigrants. Gained a great amount of knowledge about issue. ALTHOUGH THE PROJECT IS MOVING SLOWLY, IN JUST FOUR MONTHS, WE HAVE ESTABLISHED WASHTENAW SANCTUARY COMMITTEE WHICH WORKS HARD EVERY DAY TO PUSH THE IMMIGRATION ISSUE FORWARD AND PROTECT IMMIGRANTS' RIGHTS. within WCS, WE HAVE ESTABLISHed small committees: logistics, political advocacy, education and finance teams. We have met and discussed further plans and planning to meet later in the next month to keep moving the issue forward until we succeed.
learned how to create outreach materials as communication tools. Learned to create Congregation sanctuary pledge form. learned how to use salesforce database, create list serves, as well as gained marketing skills and put my minor in art & Desing into work. Have created posters and menu service graphics for ICPJ.
I intend to continue expand my horizon and learn about the community and its needs. I would love to continue contributing to the mission of ICPJ as much as possible. I intend to keep my relationships with people who are involved in ICPJ. I have learned a lot about them, not only about the project but also about life in general.
I want to say thank you to Danyelle Reynolds for giving me an opportunity to be a part of this project.
I want to say thank to Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice for taking me as an intern and guiding me through the project. I have learned a lot and hope to continue working with the organization.