Jennifer Edwards ’21 is spending the summer connecting with children and families in the community, which has enabled her to discover a passion for public service and for working with kids.
August 8, 2019
Working at the West Haven Community House has completely changed my perspective of the Greater New Haven area. This summer, I have had the opportunity to inspire children and families by promoting healthy and independent lifestyles for children in the community.
I can truly see the impact I have made on the lives of children each day by how they react to me when I walk into the classroom each morning. Watching them progress gives me purpose and reminds me why I dedicated my summer to public service.
Each day at work is a new experience because we take the children on field trips Monday through Thursday. The trips allow the children to learn about what Connecticut has to offer and helps them learn about animals, science, the environment, and more. I love to see them explore opportunities they may have never had before if it were not for the West Haven Community House.
The program is committed to social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth of children, and I am pleased to be able to be a positive role model for the kids I work with. I have been able to show the children how important it is to be themselves, to be unique, and to appreciate diversity, and this has been evident in how confident each child has become over the past two months.
"The program has helped me develop leadership and communication skills, as I have been responsible for ensuring that all students feel welcome, safe, and are having fun."Jennifer Edwards ’21
The program has helped me develop leadership and communication skills, as I have been responsible for ensuring that all students feel welcome, safe, and are having fun. The best part of the day is seeing how grateful they are for what the staff offers them each day.
The best and most important part of this program is that I have been able to be a positive representative of the University, and I have been able to show the impact that student leaders can have in the community by dedicating our time to public service. My work has reinforced how important it is to think less about myself and more about the needs of others.
The President's Public Service Fellowship places University of New Haven students in a nonprofit or public service work environment for eleven weeks during the summer.