In college applications – show kindness instead of overachieving

A recent report published by the Harvard Graduate School of Education spells good news for CAS students. Your CAS portfolios will have more currency and value in college applications. Called “Turning the Tide” the report reflects on the biases of the admissions process for US Colleges and urges a revolution therein. Richard Weissbourd is one of the directors of that school’s Making Caring Common project, which was responsible for producing the report. He also authored the research that was one of the triggers ...

Empathy – ‘turning it up to eleven’

By Thursday, October 31, 2013 0

Empathy : the ability to understand other people's feelings and problems. Underlying any involvement in community service is a feeling of empathy – a sense of the feelings of others rather than your own. Empathy can be the trigger that stirs us to act in service or it might also be the result of our work – a heightened awareness of the needs of others. Where does this sense of others come from? Is empathy a naturally occurring phenomenon? Is it a personality trait? Can ...

A rush of blood to the heart

Most obviously we somehow know that doing good is good for the recipients or partners in service. Intuitively, we also know that doing good is also good for the ‘actor’ or the ‘doer’. Now a recent TIME report elucidates the real health benefits of  service activities. “A new review of the health effects of volunteering found that helping others on a regular basis — like serving food in a soup kitchen or reading to the blind— can reduce early mortality rates ...

“ideals and ideas”

I’d been invited to prepare a presentation on service learning to my school’s leadership team. We were discussing a proposal to make community service an ‘expectation’ for all graduating seniors. It was 1996, the pre power-point era, and my supporting visuals were slides for an OHP. For digital natives - that’s an Over Head Projector. As I entered the conference room the Head of Science slipped me a newspaper clipping. “You gotta read this,” he said, “it will help your argument!” I did ...