As the end of 2010 rolls around taking the time to reflect on the year, your beliefs and values, can perhaps, help the move forward in 2011. It is important that the behaviors we manifest represent the beliefs and values that we have. C4K values service. Service above self really has to do with the work we do each and every day that benefits someone else. Part of effective after-school programs focuses on providing opportunities for youth to give back to the community they live in through Service Learning Projects and Community Service. The difference in the two is the intentional embedding of academic learning and guided reflection time into Service Learning and not in Community Service.
The importance of service is also evident in the 40 Development Assets. These Assets have been identified as the 40 external and internal influences that affect a youth’s resilience and ability to persevere when things are challenging. There are 20 identified External Assets and one of the categories is Empowerment. In this category the importance of having the community value youth, see youth as playing a vital role in the community, and understand that young people can provide service to others as they work in the community, can be clearly seen. The role of the after-school program is to create a space in which young people can learn to value service above self. Children are not born with a “service gene,” but can, through participation in well-orchestrated projects, learn that service is as fulfilling and valuable as eating a good meal.
Albert Schweitzer, a doctor who committed himself to the well-being of people in Africa tells us, "I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."
Other quotes that focus on the value of service include:
"Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves." James M. Barrie
"The vocation of every man and woman is to serve other people." Leo Tolstoy
"Service is what life is all about." Marian Wright Edelman
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." Mohandas K. Gandhi