It Takes a Village: Community Service and RPL

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If you’ve been working in community service, helping local or neighborhood groups, non-profits, or public interest groups, there are valuable skills recognition programs ready to award formal credit for what you already know. RPL, recognition of prior learning, can provide the accreditation you deserve based on a documentation of your skills in stories like these:

Olivia’s On-the-Job Volunteering

Olivia’s company, a successful tech and communications firm, wanted to give back to the community that had welcomed them in as a struggling new business. The company teamed up with a hospital, deciding to do more than just contribute financial support.

As a way to fulfill her company’s goal to engage employees in community service, Jenna volunteered to help with event organisation for a 10k run benefiting the hospital. Her duties included recruiting and managing a team of volunteers to select suppliers to help with event day safety, parking, registration, and supplies.

On the day of the event, Olivia directed her team to set up the route and aid stations, and arrange for last minute registration. She also hired contractors to take photos, play music, and offer directions and information to participants and spectators alike.

Her status at the company was enhanced by her pro bono work, and gave her a new avenue for learning and enrichment. Through skills recognition, her experience proved worthy, broadening her opportunities both within the company and the larger employment environment in community service.

William’s Grandfather and the Community Center

William and his grandfather had become very close over the past several years, doing many things together including helping the aging man get to the community center near his lifetime home. There, a group of old friends met to play cards, talk about life over coffee and a snack, or go for a swim in the pool. Then William’s grandfather passed away.

William found that he missed the camaraderie of the group of elderly folks at the center, and decided to see if he could be of help to any of the others. He was hired at first to help with cleaning and yard work, but proved such a positive force with many who spent time at the center, was given additional tasks.

Soon, William was helping with social events and teaching basic computer skills. His engaging approach earned him new credentials through Recognition of Prior Learning that enabled him to apply his skills in a professional way, receiving formal recognition that improved his employment options.

Mia’s Approach to Getting Things Done

Mia found her neighborhood a wonderful collection of individuals and older homes, but in trying to feed her children and her extended family, felt that basic food options were unhealthy and comparatively expensive. She learned from a friend about community gardens, and thought that perhaps she could engage the schools to use a portion of their grounds to begin a community garden.

She learned how to organise her plan, describe the benefits, and get people on board with the project, finding support with neighborhood preschool and primary schools, with assistance from middle school students as a qualification for their matriculation. Mia collected donations from home improvement stores, engaged those with gardening expertise, and scheduled meetings and work sessions to create a garden full of vegetables and greens to be shared with students and the surrounding community.

Mia’s garden proved a successful project that was repeated throughout her city, earning her not only Recognition of Prior Learning formal credentials, but also friends grateful recipients outside of her neighborhood. Enjoying a new career organising community projects, Mia expanded her professional, financial, and social horizons.

Your Turn

What skills have you developed through community service? Whether volunteer, paid, in fulfilment of qualifications for a school or job-related goal, you deserve credit for what you already know. Put your expertise to work for you today by scheduling a skills review, and look forward to a brilliant future helping communities and the people they serve.

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