Service Learning is one of the four core components of the International Baccalaureate Career-related Program (IBCP). Under the guidance of a supervisor, students identify an authentic community need related to their interests, skills and career-related area of study, and provide a service that addresses that need. Students apply their knowledge and skills in a real-life situation that requires decision-making, initiative, problem-solving, accountability and responsibility.
Through their Service Learning experience, students have the opportunity to develop working relationships with members of the community and develop a sense of caring about, and responsibility for, others while gaining new skills and knowledge.
Paris Ramsay: A Head for Business
MIC student Paris Ramsay, 17, has her sights set on a career as an entrepreneur through travel and fashion. In 2019 she completed a Cert 2 in fashion and is currently completing a Cert 3 in Business having commenced her two-year IBCP program in early 2019.
“As I am already an entrepreneur in the fashion industry, I would like to further my business and creativity skills, so I’m excited to study Visual Art, Psychology, and Language and Literature as well as get my Certificate II in Fashion Design and Technology and my Certificate III in Business, all before I finish school,” said Paris.
“The IBCP program is going to help set me up for my future business and travel ventures, as I plan to work around the world, experiencing new cultures and helping communities and people along the way.”
“With a traineeship and running two businesses, I get hands-on experience and make the connections I need to apply what I’m learning outside of school.”
Service-learning in Uganda, Africa
Paris’ love of entrepreneurship has led her down an interesting and gratifying path of community service. In 2017, at just 14 years old, Paris established Cocolou.life, an online ethical jewellery venture. The jewellery is ethically made by a woman in Thailand, who Paris first connected with on a trip there, while part of the proceeds of each sale supports a charity in Uganda that Paris was introduced to through her business coach, Bruce Campbell.
Kyampisi Childcare Ministries in Kyampisi, Uganda, Africa, is a charity that supports children affected by the human rights issues of child sacrificing and child trafficking.
The charity runs a school, a sponsor-a-child program, a church, a school sleeping facility, a medical clinic and a rehabilitation centre for children recovering from child sacrifice injuries.
In September 2019 Paris travelled to Uganda to support the charity and the work underway in Kyampisi.
As part of her Service Learning Project, she set up a fundraising page with her team, identified the main needs of the school team and bought resources and delivered them to the charity. She also taught children in the school while she was there.
Service Learning – What’s Involved
Service Learning is an authentic service that has the potential to be transformative for all involved, changing behaviours, actions and values as students serve the community according to the community’s needs. Service Learning is not counting hours, accumulating volunteer experiences or collecting money for charities. It’s about engaging with community in meaningful and positive ways. It’s about strengthening communities, engaging in new learning, modeling civic responsibility, inspiring personal reflection, developing empathy and acting in ways that improve the self and the world beyond the self.
IBCP students need to devote a minimum of 50 hours outside of the classroom toward service learning experiences. Students initiate and make their own arrangements for their service and maintain a service learning portfolio to document the service and the student’s reflection.
For more on the International Baccalaureate Career-related Program, and the Senior Phase at MIC, visit the Secondary College page of the MIC website.