"The Big Idea"
So What Else’s service learning stewardship program is the cornerstone of our mission to support the community through philanthropy and youth development and innovation.
‘The Big Idea’ is an educational and interactive program designed to encourage students to explore novel and innovative ways to serve their community and Earth. Through teamwork, open dialogue, activism, and action, students direct their own projects and learn through action that people of any age can create positive change in their own communities and neighborhoods.
During the semester, students work in groups to generate their own community initiatives. Students learn the process of investigating an issue, preparing and planning a solution, implementing and completing a community service initiative and reflecting on its impact and outcome.
A main highlight of the stewardship program is its emphasis on the power of community. The Big Idea focuses on the role of individuals and nonprofit organizations in a community, the idea of personal responsibility, and the power of youth involvement in community issues.
Participants are eligible to receive student service learning hours during the course of the semester as they complete various projects. They also receive official certificates of completion from our Stewardship Program and are encouraged to join our student board.
So What Else Service Fairs
So What Else hosts student service fairs at local schools and youth centers to spread our mission of paying it forward in the communities we serve. Our service fairs bring students together to dedicate time to not only volunteering but also understanding why the giving of oneself is so important. At these fairs, students, volunteers and staff participate in a mix of different projects that help fill a wide range of different needs in the community.
At these fairs, we focus on different areas of the community, including local shelters, hospitals, and nursing homes. Many projects also included “upcycling” items, like gleaned pumpkins and flowers from the Halloween season to make Thanksgiving decorations for a nearby nursing home. Our most recent service fair was environmentally focused, where students participated in projects that supported our local ecosystems and pollinators.
Our service fairs to date have engaged over 150 youth in service and directly benefited 6 organizations in the schools’ own neighborhoods, and So What Else is eager to continue this model of service to engage more youth in giving back to our communities!