This week has been pretty amazing! We started on Monday with a very informative lesson on asset mapping from Leif Elsmo. Leif introduced to SSP the approach of focusing on associations in a community to better it, rather than simply supplying a temporary fix for needs. I really enjoyed this presentation because it was the first time that I heard a plan that recognized the necessity to incorporate the community in efforts to improve it. I really appreciated this aspect of the plan. Next comes Tuesday. The highlight of this day for me was the practice we had with interviewing people in the South Chicago community. At first, I was really nervous, but as we did more interviews I got more comfortable with it. Another part of Tuesday I loved were the discussions our team had with nurses at the Chicago Family Health Center. The most touching topic we talked about was infant mortality. This conversation carried over into Wednesday, when the entire SSP talked with Dr. Jones and our respective teammates about the correlation between infant mortality and socioeconomic status (there’s a positive correlation, by the way). On Thursday we had more practice with interviewing people, specifically people who carry lots of responsibility and are pressed for time. Mrs. McCoy, the principal at New Sullivan Elementary, was very straight-to-the-point. She was, at the beginning of our interview, very insistent on knowing our agenda and our expectations from her. But as the interview wore on, with the help of my team, I learned how to adjust to the situation. I’ve got to give honor where honor is due;Salvador did an amazing job deflecting our little mix-up at the beginning. Overall, as I reflect over this week, the people I appreciate the most are my teammates. Team South Chicago’s mentors are amazing. I can ask them any random question that pops into my head, and they will do their absolute best to answer my question. Even if they don’t know the answer themselves, they’ll refer me to another mentor who knows the answer, like Ashli did. They’ll spend the time to fully explain to me the answer I’m looking for like Rachel, or they’ll Google what I’m looking for on the spot, like Nick. Jada, Sal, and Asia are also great. We have quite a few laughs together, and have really grown as a team. Although there are more areas in which we can all improve, I am confident that we will all become proficient in those areas throughout the course of the Summer Service Partnership.