What Makes a Successful Volunteer?
(Adapted from Peace Corps)
Flexibility: As an Extension volunteer, you will likely be placed in an environment very different from anything you've eperienced before. Letting go of expectations and being flexible will assist you in handling whatever comes your way.
Adaptability: Having the ability to adjust to the many new situations you encounter allows you to be responsive to the people you will live with and serve.
Responsibility: Not only are you responsible for quality work, but you will be required to adhere to a structure designed to keep you safe and healthy. For example, you will not be able to drive a vehicle or leave your community without notifying program staff. In addtion, you have a responsiblity to the other members of your volunteer community to be an engaged, respectful, supportive member of the group.
Sense of Humor: Having the ability to laugh at yourself and at life's surprises goes a long way. Your service will be a continual learning process. Keeping a lighthearted view will help you learn from your mistakes without judging yourself too harshly. Besides, laughter is universal!
Patience: This is not a job for people seeking quick fixes or instant gratification. Instead, you will need to work creatively to develop relationships with community members and to build trust and motivate various stakeholders. This all takes time.
Self-Reliance: Although you will have the support of your volunteer community, you will face various challenges where you feel 'on your own'. As you get acclimated to this new environment, you will encounter language and cultural barriers and the challenge of learning a new job and getting to know people. Having a strong sense of self-reliance will help you navigate moments of doubt and difficult situations.
Positive Attitude: The structure of your job assignment and the work itself will probably be less defined than what you've experienced in the U.S. There may be times when the work flow feels chaotic, when you have little guidance or structure, or when it's very slow. A positive attitude can ease the transition.
Resourcefulness: As people adjust to new environments and cultures, they go through certain predictable emotional states: loneliness and isolation, insecurity and uncertainty, homesickness, and doubts about their commitment to serve. By being resourceful, working with what you have, and keeping an open mind, you will be able to overcome these challenges and thrive.
Acceptance to the programs can be competitive. We ask that those interested think seriously about the commitment they will be making and apply only after thoughtful reflection and consideration of the program's requirements and goals.
Program Schedule for 2013-2014
- March 2014: Application Deadline
- April 2014: Applications Reviewed, Candidates Interviewed and Selected
- August 11-15: Dominican Republic and Brockton Orientation and Departure (approx. dates)
- January 2015: India and Honduras Orientation and Departure
- June 2015: Dominican Republic and Brockton programs conclude
- November 2015: Honduras volunteers return to U.S.
- December 2015: India volunteers return to U.S.
To be considered for the Stonehill Service Corps, please contact Kris Silva at firstname.lastname@example.org.