One of the wonderful things about service is that while we are in service to others, we are presented with a unique opportunity to learn about the issues that matter most to us. We are able to explore the ways, the concepts and ideas we see on the pages of textbooks manifest in real life. We get to ask hard questions of ourselves and the world around us.


  • Have an open mind.
  • Challenge your assumptions and biases.
  • Be observant, and objective in your observations.
  • Think why—always. Ask why appropriately.
  • Value the knowledge of others—especially your community partners.



  • Before: What expectations did you have about your work before you began? 
  • During: What have you experienced during your work that is different than what you expected?
  • After: Have your thoughts evolved on the way you view a particular issue? How about your approach to your work? If so in what way?

Finding Resources

  • Who/what serves as your source(s) of knowledge?
  • Are there any additional people you can learn from? 
  • How can you continue to expand your knowledge base?