Mala Singh, Biology Student
What is your most memorable service experience?
My most memorable service experience thus far has been my junior year in 2016, when I participated in the Fresno State Alternative Spring Break Program. The Fresno State Alternative Spring Break offers students a four-day service opportunity during spring break to engage in the community and do a service project.
Where did you serve?
I served at Stone Soup Fresno, a community-benefit organization that helps Southeast Asian refugee families, a site dedicated towards serving the underserved Hmong community. During our time there, our team focused on facilitating a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) Camp for elementary school children who frequented Stone Soup.
What did you learn?
Being there for four consecutive days, I had the opportunity to learn more about the Hmong culture and got experience facilitating a “Bridges” workshop for the “Engineering” aspect of the S.T.E.M. camp. Doing the workshop, I informed elementary students about the necessity to observe their surroundings and question why each bridge had different designs. By doing so, students provoked their critical thinking skills and enhanced their handwork skills by building bridges out of wooden sticks. From the “bridges” workshop, the students had the capacity to apply their knowledge through a real-life application.
What impact did you make?
Students improved their collaboration skills, responded to each other kindly, and communicated the best ideas possible to accomplish presented tasks. The students expanded their creativity, gained more knowledge within multiple disciplines of STEM, and will use this as a foundation progressing their education.
How did this service impact you?
I gained a greater awareness in various aspects of STEM and now have more experience working with younger students. I loved learning more about the Hmong culture and broadening my cultural awareness.