Jaida Rogers - The George Washington University
An engageDC leader, Jaida liaises with a local nonprofit community partner, the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC), to support organizational needs and lead a team of engageDC students that serve daily on the site. …Through community engagement courses at The George Washington University this year, Jaida researched how service-learning literature often solely identifies Black and Latinx youth by the racial inequities they face as opposed to allowing them to express their full identities.
-Mark S. Wrighton, Ph.D
President, The George Washington University
I am interested in participating in the 2022-2023 Mid-Atlantic Civic Fellowship because I believe this program is an incredible opportunity to grow as an active leader in my community, to deepen my understanding of the social issues in which I aim make a positive impact, and to collaborate with other civic-minded individuals.
As an engageDC student leader, I liaise with a local nonprofit community partner, the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC), to support organizational needs with a team of engageDC participants that I lead and facilitate. I have also served as a teacher’s assistant in leadership and arts-involved classes at LAYC, which fueled my interest in researching the effectiveness of arts-involved community engagement efforts with Black and Latinx youth. My research revealed a propensity of service-learning literature to solely identify Black and Latinx youth by the racial inequities they face as opposed to allowing them to express their full identities. While describing how such approaches to community engagement foster deficit-based mindsets in volunteers, my research paper, titled True Community Engagement Through Art During COVID-19, demonstrated how organizations such as LAYC use art as a platform for Black and Latinx youth to express their identities and experiences and thus exemplify that true community engagement empowers those involved. I am grateful to have presented such research in two writing conferences this year. Furthermore, I recently had the opportunity to share my experiences with LAYC staff and GW faculty and students in GW’s first Deepening Partnerships event, in which I helped to facilitate discussions about how GW and LAYC can grow and deepen our partnerships.
I hope to continue growing through the Mid-Atlantic Civic Fellowship, as I believe that I cannot make the change I wish to see in the world without making a positive impact in the community right outside my door.
2022-23 Mid-Atlantic Civic Fellow