Whether your Club is looking for a new SSLP location or is reevaluating your current placement, here are five key elements of the SSLP for your Club to consider:
Who does the ND Club want to partner with?
Start with thinking about exciting local organizations that are known in your area for being highly effective in working with people on the margins of society. Consider an organization that the Club or someone in the Club already has a relationship with or an organization where the Club wants to become involved. Before sending a student to an organization, be sure that you know and trust the organization and that you have a dependable contact there. Our hope is that Club members visit the organization at least twice each year in order to stay involved with the organization throughout the year and maintain a strong, mutually beneficial relationship.
What type of work would you want to do?
Consider what type of organization might be interesting to current undergrads. Students choose from over 185 SSLP organizations. Many students are eager to gain practical experience this summer in their area of study, particularly in the areas of legal aid work, healthcare, education, or immigration. We already offer students many other placement options to work with youth in summer camps, individuals with disabilities, and those who are homeless.
The 80% Rule
Ensure that students will spend at least 80% of their time working directly with people in need and building relationships. This means students should spend only a limited amount of time doing administrative tasks such as filing papers or working in isolation (like sorting donations).
Who would you want to work for?
A good supervisor makes a big difference. Look for an organization that communicates effectively and where there is a staff person readily available to meet at least weekly with the student during the summer.
Organizations that can provide food and housing on site for the student during the summer or organizations that are accessible via public transportation present an especially attractive option since the student then would likely not be required to bring a vehicle. Placements that require the student to have a vehicle significantly limit the pool of eligible candidates.
Creative Ideas Currently in Clubs
- Involve the Club in the activities at the site such as the Orange County Club who serves Sunday breakfast at the Southwest Community Center throughout the year.
- If there is more than one student in your city, arrange with the sites for students to visit each other’s site, such as the Pittsburgh Club has done.
- The Southeast Connecticut Club site, Thames River Family Program, was founded by a Club member who interacts with the student throughout the summer.
For more information, contact Ben Wilson.