I don’t fully know what to expect this summer, but I’m definitely eager to begin my work with the Positive Youth Justice Initiative. Being a rookie in public scholarship, I will certainly learn a great deal from working with people who share goals similar to my own, who are already at-work, meeting their goals and setting new standards. I do expect that my work over the summer will lead to other opportunities for community engagement, and it will give me some insight to the numerous perspectives we have studied in the Public Scholars seminar. Again, I don’t know what sorts of opportunities will arise, or precisely how my views will take shape (or, be reshaped), or affect the work I do in the future, but it’s ok; the multitude of possibilities are exciting and invigorating.
The Public Scholars seminar, along with my training as a graduate student, and a variety of life experiences in general have given me the tools I need to begin my public scholarship. These tools will be useful for many tasks, whether it’s helping to write a report, or teaching, or being aware of the multifarious boundaries of community engagement, or knowing the stakes of my involvement with a community and the community’s involvement in the work we’re doing, or simply communicating effectively with people in and outside of the community.
We’ve learned in the Public Scholars seminar to think broadly and imaginatively about our, and the community’s goals and needs, as well as our careers following graduate school, and the potential to combine public scholarship with whatever paths we may take. My expectations for the summer are pretty simple really. I want to connect with like-minded people and learn from them, and gain more tools and experience, while making myself useful to the community. I will approach the work, not only with the skills I already have, but also with humility and dedication, and a willingness to meet any outcome with confidence.