It is an honor to present the Service-Learning Award for Spring 2009 to Rachel San Agustin.
She has been deeply involved with at leastseven different Service-Learning Projects, including the Kaimuki FAFSA Project, the Molokai FAFSA and Tax Clinics, the Palolo Financial Literacy Project, The Palolo Soccer Camp, the Volunteer income Tax Assistance Project, the Hawaii Disability Rights Center Project, and Project SHINE. Rachel was not only a stellar participant. She consistently showed the initiative to step up as a primary organizer for several of these projects. Since Dr. Peggy Friedman has been on sabbatical, Rachel took over her teacher’s central role in the Kaimuki FAFSA Project. We always strive for this kind of student engagement and project sustainability, and Rachel is one great example, carrying forth community work beyond the parameters of her service-learning assignments.
Prof. Richard Kido says “Much to my surprise and delight, Rachel just jumped in and kind of took over. I had no choice but to jump out of her way.” He also points out: “Rachel showed her leadership and organizational skills by not only supervising her fellow Chaminade students in most of the projects, but also acting as the de facto supervisor for UH and KCC volunteers. Never missing a detail, she manages in such a smooth way that the students don't even realize they are being supervised – yet they look to her for guidance.”
Dr. Peggy Friedman adds: “I have been impressed with how Rachel really fulfills the true goal of service learning--she takes great pains to connect the service work to what she learns in class. “
In 2008, Chaminade received the highest national honor bestowed on a university for service and service-learning. Rachel was chosen to travel to the award ceremony in San Diego, where she helped to represent Chaminade with an inspiring speech about her experiences in service-learning.She’s spoken on student panels at two Statewide Service-Learning Conferences, and she’s most recently presented our Service-Learning Projects in Business at the Students In Free Enterprise competition. She’s been a marketing maven for Service-Learning, and most basically, she’s brought a lot of help to a lot of people. Congratulations Rachel, and thank you so much.