Experiential Learning and the Impact

“I wrapped up my undergraduate degree in the spring of 2021 and of all the jobs, clubs, and internship experiences I was a part of, I don’t think anything was as valuable as my Street Teams experience. My pitch for anyone looking to join Street Teams is always the same: it's a place to apply what you learn in the classroom in a real-life setting while giving back to your community. Street Teams works as an agency that takes care of the communication, advertising, and media needs of a non-profit for the academic year. We produce deliverables like videos, social media manuals, graphics, and whatever else the client is looking for. I joined Street Teams during my freshman year with absolutely no prior knowledge of design, social media management, or the video production process. Because of the environment that Street Teams puts you in, younger students especially get to soak up all this knowledge that the upperclassmen come into the program with. I learned so much from my teams and I can't think of another situation where I could've gotten access to pick all their minds. My first non-profit partner was the Capital Area Humane Society, an organization that I currently visit weekly because I’ve developed such a great relationship with the volunteers and staff (and cats). This partnership went so well that a ComArtSci alumni, Jill Byron, funded a week-long summer Street Team experience in Traverse City for the Cherryland Humane Society. This may be my favorite Street Team so far. It was fast paced, incredibly immersive, and such a unique experience. The following year, I was a project manager for a team working with Communities in Schools, an organization that helps to decrease the high-school dropout rate and assist students going through difficult times. My last year as a project manager was working with the Woldumar Nature Center. This was an entirely online experience that gave me a completely different perspective on team-building and content creation. Now I’m in the first year of my master’s degree and I work as the student coordinator and oversee the other project managers and take on a more administrative role. 

It’s hard to fully quantify what I’ve gotten out of my 4 years in Street Teams. I got my first on-campus job because of a recommendation from a member on my team. My mentor, Jeana-Dee Allen, wrote me a letter of recommendation that got me into my current master’s program. I was recommended to go to a creativity and production focused conference (Visual Discovery Conference) in Ohio with some of my peers because of our stand-out work for our non-profit partners. However, beyond the experiences that I’ve gotten out of Street Teams, the feeling of giving back to my community is one that is so much more important to me. I know that the work my peers and I have done has touched the lives of kids, parents, teachers, families, and community members all throughout the Greater Lansing area. I’ll forever cherish everything I learned throughout my time with Street Teams. Whether it’s my peers, mentors, non-profit partners, or anyone else that has rippled in the Street Team pond, the people that are involved in Street Teams always have the same goal: to improve the world around them through creative non-profit endeavors, and this is a community that is nearly impossible to find elsewhere."