There is a whole team of bloggers behind the NOLA program this year. All of us bloggers will take a moment to introduce ourselves over the next weeks before New Orleans. I’ll kick off the introductions here. Also, let me say how pleased I am that I can now say New Orleans is just weeks away!
My name is Brittany Vine, and I’m a part of the Calgary Serves (Reading Week) Building Community: Food & Justice in New Orleans program. I’m a third year Development Studies student at the UofC and Program Assistant for the New Orleans Project.
My connection to CCEL service-learning goes back to my first year, when I participated in the CCEL’s first Homelessness at Home Reading Week Program. Since that project I’ve kept tabs on the CCEL’s various projects and have eagerly anticipated the opportunity to participate in another.
I’m privileged to be working as the Program Assistant for NOLA. This is a Peer Helper position through the CCEL. My role has been in assisting with the development of the program, curriculum and pre-service meetings, as well as tackling a few of the administrative jobs that come with group travel. The position unto itself has been a rewarding experience, and I can’t wait to continue working on the project.
Spending time volunteering and studying in West Africa has given me a passion for development work and allowed me to see the importance of service-learning projects. New Orleans is, for me, and opportunity to see development closer to home.
In seeing development closer to home I am anxious to expand on my knowledge of ‘environmental justice’ (connections between environment, policy and development) and Food Security. Both these topics are applicable to every community, but are especially evident in New Orleans.
I’m also incredibly fortunate to have course work this semester that focuses on both environmental justice and food security. New Orleans will be truly a service-learning experience; there’s really nothing like taking learning beyond the classroom!