US Community Service Faculty Spotlight, November 2016: Mr. Watkins
New this year, the US Community Service Council will be recognizing the service work of one teacher each month this school year.
What first interested you in Community Service?
When I was born, I lived in a house where my family fostered and lived with 12 boys that were taken out of very rough neighborhoods, and moved to Carmel, California for high school. My mom cooked and kept the house for 17 people for one year while my dad supported and managed daily school schedules and logistics. Both of my parents worked for non-profits while I was growing up, so the idea of strong community connections and working for and in conjunction with others on community programs was inherent with my upbringing.
What was the first service project that you were involved with?
As I began my first career in photojournalism, I led a photography project for kids who were residents at The Road Home. I taught basic photography skills and took the kids to Liberty Park where they had to photograph various subjects with disposable film cameras. Once the film was developed and printed, the kids created photo collages to keep with them at the shelter.
If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
This is an easy answer for many: Mahatma Gandhi. He was willing to give up personal luxury because he believed so deeply that it was his civic duty to dedicate his life to fighting injustice in a non-violent manner. Very few people have the strength and courage to make this sacrifice and commitment, and the scope and significance of his life is truly inspiring.
Learn more about Waterford's Community Service program here.