Community engagement gets selective

Students are often desensitized to this school. It’s easy to overlook the opportunities available at their fingertips.

Community Engagement is one of the best ways to develop teamwork, determination, compassion and giving back to the community.

This year, students were admitted to Community Engagement clubs via a selection process.

Discussing the selection process, Mrs. Sanjaya Mark, Director of Community Engagement, said, “Many students join Community Engagement for their transcripts or as a Passage requirement. We wanted students who work with dedication towards the various projects, and a selection process was the best option.”  

Mrs. Mark further added, “Eighty percent of the students were focused; however, twenty percent did not work with the kind of dedication that is expected out of them.”

Established in 2014, Community Engagement began with the purpose of developing communities and working with students on collaborative developmental projects.  Sanatan Dharam involves students working towards building an auditorium and building relationships with preschool children. DOST focuses on Water Conservation projects and Not just a piece of Cloth (A Woman’s Menstrual Hygiene Project).

The selection process involved eliminating students who didn’t contribute to their respective CARE activities. This had an impact on several Community Engagement groups, including Kaplani, Sanatan Dharam, and Knitting.

Jigya Talwar, Class of 2020, joined Kaplani in Spring 2017 and has been a committed member since then. Talvar said, “I am glad that we now have a group that will actually work hard and will be dedicated towards this project.”

Last semester, there were about 40 people in Sanatan Dharam Auditorium project but unfortunately, not all of them took the weekly trip to the school seriously. However, this spring is different with 20 dedicated students working towards building relationships with children.

Picture by Navya Sethi

However, some Community Engagement activities weren’t necessarily impacted by this selection process.

Minjae Kim, Class of 2020, said, “This didn’t make a huge difference to the Knitting Project for newborn babies in LCH. Instead of having perfect Community Engagement candidates for this project, I feel like the number of people who wanted to join this Passage has been reduced due to this selection process.”

Numerous Woodstock alumni have used skills developed through Community Engagement to give back to the community and serve others immensely. According to Mrs. Mark, Rishi Thomas, Class of 2016, Namita Jain, Class of 2016, and Tanashya Batra, Class of 2017, are a few members who have moved on to college and are motivating people and empowering communities around them.

When asked what makes a committed CARE member, Mrs. Mark said, “We look for people who genuinely work hard and aren’t just there because it’s Passage time. Students who understand other people who are not like them, and are willing to put in the time and effort to have respect for other people no matter what background they come from.”


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