This episode we are super excited to welcome two more guests for our Mindful Volunteering Part 2 episode, Emily and Andrei. These two are former students of Claire Bennet from our Mindful Volunteering Part 1 episode and are currently in the midst of their gap year through the Princeton Novogratz Bridge Year Program in Udaipur, India. They spend some time telling us about the Novogratz Program and how their long-term service/work sites have been set up. Additionally, they reflect upon their perspectives on service, both before their gap year as well as how their time in India has changed their perspectives, and they also give some great advice for things that you can do to make a shorter-term service placement effective if you only have a bit of time. 

“I remember being kind of confused by this at the beginning, like how could service possibly do more harm than good when the intention is to contribute and help people? But I think through the examples in the book it’s pretty clear that not having that local context and not caring enough to learn about it can really result in harm that comes from either pushing your ideas on an organization or just doing things that you may not realize will have an impact on the people that you are interacting with” – Emily

“Overall, I think a lot of people say this but being open-minded and willing to go out of your way and do things that you wouldn’t usually be comfortable with or familiar with, usually brings you down a path where there’s a lot of learning” – Andrei

If you want to learn more about Princeton Novogratz Bridge Year program you can find them only at oip.princeton.edu/our-programs/novogratz-bridge-year or on Instagram @novogratzbridgeyear.