Human Services major Alejandro Vilchez transfered to NDNU as part of Bethany College’s “teach out.” When he presented his career portfolio to class, he commented on this difference in his academic record, saying, “My experience is a bit out of the box.” One of his classmates, inspired by Alejandro’s many accomplishments, responded, “man, you ARE the box!”
Human Services students all take a “Senior Seminar” course, which is a capstone class in which they use the skills and knowledge learned in the classroom and in life to significantly help a human services agency. Alejandro created an ambitious project called “Kustoms for Peace” that brought members of rival gangs together in a peace building process.
In his description, “Juvenile halls differ from adult jails because they focus on rehabilitation. However, an unintended outcome is the blending of young people from different neighborhoods and, at times, rival gangs or cliques where the gang mentality is bred and fed. While many take advantage of programs and services, little is done to help youth work together towards standing peace or a working truce. The purpose of Kustoms for Peace is to initiate a peace process, allowing youth to work together within the institution and hopefully inspire change in their lives.”
For a full description of his project outcome, check out the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center’s blog.