Shimer College

December 03, 2012

The Opportunities of a Liberal Arts Degree

Sit Stay Read is a nonprofit organization that implements literacy programs at inner-city grade schools. But get this: all of our materials are dog-themed, such as our books, brainstorming worksheets, and writing sheets.

And the coolest part? We bring in actual dogs and their owners for the kids to visit in order to overcome anxiety about reading aloud as well as building their confidence for learning.

As a Program Leader, my job is to get the kids pumped up about reading and writing, manage the group of volunteers in each program, and oversee the program in general. Each program is about eight weeks long. By the end of the program, the kid’s work is put into their very own book (which I have to put together).

Besides Sit Stay Read, I’ve been heavily involved with another nonprofit organization known as Assist Her, Inc. Assist Her, Inc. is an adolescent female empowerment organization that specializes in literacy, prevention, and mentoring programs and workshops within Chicago schools - I am their Social Media Relations Specialist. I run their all of their social media accounts as well as work closely with the Community Relations and Marketing departments.

I can’t really say what I’ve been working on as it will be released in the early spring, but I can say that Assist Her, Inc. has provided me with some amazing opportunities such as meeting authors, CPS officials, politicians, access to VIP events, and most importantly…to be a part of evolving a truly revolutionary group! You can follow us on FacebookTwitter, and even LinkedIn.

To me, this is the most important and often most looked-over part of what Shimer College has to offer. A lot of people think, “I can’t do anything with a Liberal Arts degree!” I know I had a couple breakdowns about it my first year here. But I have learned that this is NOT the truth. It is actually BECAUSE of my Great Books education, my soon-to-be BA in Liberal Arts, and my experience with working in both Student Life and the Business Office of Shimer College that I was even considered for my positions at Sit Stay Read or Assist Her, Inc. Not to mention that Shimer’s curriculum taught me how to lead, facilitate, and even write a curriculum for my youth group at Unity. Without Shimer College and what I’ve learned here, I would not be able to say that I am much more than a college student about to graduate… I am in fact a college student who has the necessary skills and experience to lead a purposeful and prosperous life.

Until next time,

Lena