As I think over the past six months that I’ve spent working intimately with Nicole and the others who have helped to nurture and support the development of the Student Advisory Board (SAB), I am left in humble amazement, feeling a deep sense of gratitude for the progress that we’ve made thus far and am excited for what is still yet to come. One of our most important tasks beginning the year was to recruit and secure new SAB Chapter Reps from all of our Chapters across the country. And then, to select a project that was worthy of the time and passion of our newly appointed board. With unanimous support, the new Student Advisory Board approved two new projects: planning for our first National Nourish Day and conducting Chapter discussions on long-term community partnerships.
The SAB launched into the discussion about long-term community partnerships during mid-October, utilizing its new Chapter Reps as facilitators for conducting thought-provoking discussions with their respective Chapters, engaging them in a conversation about the pros and cons of having long-term community partnerships. Through this process, the board learned that many Nourish members have quite a reasonable understanding of international development. The feedback revealed that Nourish members generally support the idea of having long-term community partnerships, believing that they will enhance the sustainability of the work in which Nourish engages. However, despite general support, some concerns were expressed by the Chapters. Two of their most prominent concerns were that this idea might foster dependency, and that it might limit the Chapter’s power of choice. Because the Chapters were not given a specific model of long-term partnerships to consider, there were many variations on what this might look like, which allowed the students to develop a comprehensive set of “worst case scenarios”. At this point in time, the SAB’s report on these Chapter discussions will greatly inform any changes that they may happen to make to better the International Projects process for the upcoming school year.
The SAB now has the opportunity to plan for our first-ever National Nourish Day (NND)! There is a lot of excitement across all the Chapters for this, and we are truly looking forward to diving into this initiative. In mid-December, we had a round of conference calls with all the Chapter Reps, during which time we brainstormed an assortment of ideas for NND. Nicole and I are sifting through the ideas now, trying to determine which are most feasible for implementing across the entire Network, and of course, which ones seem to be the most fun, creative and engaging. For now, I’m going to keep a tight lid on which ideas are rising to the top and will leave it up to your Chapter Reps to fill you in when the time is right. So keep your ears up and your eyes open – the details will be flying at you soon enough!
SAB Co-Chair / Student Board Member
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