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<ul class="card card-body" id="index"></ul>   

<h3>Program Values</h3>
In order to have the greatest impact on the community as well as personal impact for Students/Volunteers, community engagement is supported by the following values and beliefs.
 	<li><strong>Personal Accountability</strong>.  Honoring commitments is an important aspect of community engagement that establishes trust that allows partnerships to flourish.</li>
<strong>Know Your Responsibilities</strong>
 	<li><strong>Be punctual. </strong>Your supervisor and clients/participants at your service site are relying on your commitment. If you cannot meet your commitment for some extraordinary circumstance, please contact your site supervisor as soon as possible by Email:   if you have immediate concerns or questions call Phone:</li>
 	<li><strong>Be professional. </strong>Dress comfortably, neatly and appropriately. Remember, when you go to your site you are representing yourself, your class and the university. Refrain from cell phone use during your service hours and do not use the Internet for non-work-related tasks.</li>
 	<li><strong>Be flexible. </strong>No two days at your site will be the same. Be as productive as possible through both high and low times of activity.</li>
 	<li><strong>Teamwork</strong>.  Collaborating with others to assist with achieving goals that benefit the greater good by providing multiple voices, perspectives, and lived experiences to be considered in decision-making.</li>
 	<li><strong>Respect</strong>.  Interacting with members of the community as an ally involves treating them as they want to be treated without making assumptions about their values, beliefs, or background.</li>
 	<li><strong>Respect the privacy of all clients. </strong>Keep all confidential material (organizational files, diagnostics or personal stories) confidential.</li>
 	<li><strong>Be respectful and accepting. </strong>Never accept or engage in any behavior that might be perceived as discriminating against an individual on the basis of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or ethnicity.</li>
 	<li><strong>Be open to learning everything that you can. </strong>The service component of your service-learning course is designed to enhance your academic learning through real-world experience. Keep an open mind and open perspective.</li>
 	<li><strong>Be appropriate. </strong>You are in a work situation and are expected to treat your supervisor, co-worker(s) and clients with courtesy, kindness and professionalism.</li>
 	<li><strong>Community</strong> <strong>Engagement</strong>.  Authentically working with the community to solve problems involves having ongoing partnerships with key stakeholders that are knowledgeable about the issues.</li>
 	<li><strong>Inclusion</strong>.  Creating an environment where diverse opinions, ideas, and groups of people work together toward a common goal allows for barriers to be broken, assumptions to be challenged, and transformations to occur.</li>
 	<li><strong>Integrity</strong>. Setting high standards of professional ethics and being consistent in principles, expectations, and actions is critical to the success of any community initiative.</li>
 	<li><strong>Leadership</strong>.  Aspiring to be an agent of change in the community involves being a role model for others in the community.</li>
 	<li><strong>Social Justice.</strong>  Working towards an equitable society is a primary function of community engagement.</li>
 	<li><strong>Agency. </strong>Supporting an environment where individual’s have the capacity and ability to take action, be effective, influence their own life, and assume responsibility for their behavior yet resilient or flexible, in the face of conflict or change.</li>
 	<li><strong>Interprofessionalism. </strong>VCU multidisciplinary units working in a collaborative and collective way with each other internally and with community partners and residents externally to allow for an effective and sustainable approach to improving the health and wellness of the community.</li>
<h3>Program Impact Areas</h3>
VCU Health Hub at 25th has committed, along with the cooperation of our community partners, to invest resources in the following areas of program impact:
 	<li>Community building</li>
 	<li>Resident empowerment and agency</li>
 	<li>Environmental sustainability</li>
 	<li>Health and wellness</li>
 	<li>Care Navigation</li>
<strong>Guiding Principles </strong>

The East End of Richmond is a historically, marginalized community, that is facing dramatic revitalization/gentrification, and we are entering into their space. We hope to provide support and opportunity for health and wellness to the community but understand our agenda may be perceived differently by the community. Providing an onboarding opportunity for faculty and Students/Volunteers is one of the community-engagement approaches being taken to address this concern and to develop sustainable relationships between the community and VCU.  The guiding principles in this endeavor include:

 	<li><strong>Cultural humility</strong></li>
 	<li>Asset based versus deficit model approach.</li>
 	<li>Awareness of our own implicit bias and how it may affect our actions and attitudes.</li>
 	<li>Building trust through transparency and responsiveness -.</li>
 	<li>Encourage collaboration - Support and encourage residents, VCU units , community groups to work together to improve health and wellness</li>
 	<li>Encourage knowledge sharing - Acknowledge the iterative process of learning with and from each other requires a safe environment for sharing experiences, evaluation, and reflection from Students/Volunteers, faculty, and community members on an ongoing basis.</li>
 	<li>Set clear expectations - Set expectations about the purpose of the engagement and the goal of reciprocal learning between VCU Students/Volunteers, faculty, and community.</li>
 	<li>Respect the community as residents’ home and not a classroom or laboratory.</li>
 	<li>Be inclusive and reflect diversity - Include a wide range of people, voices, ideas, and information to lay the groundwork and beyond for results that reflect the views of all stakeholders.</li>

<strong>On-Boarding Requirements</strong>

On boarding opportunities include the exploration of knowledge, information, and resources that build upon what Students/Volunteers are learning about community engagement, interprofessionalism, safety and legal considerations, self-awareness, historical perspectives,  and socioeconomic determinants of health in their respective VCU courses and as it relates to their community experience. The expectation is that Students/Volunteers and faculty will participate in (1) in person workshop and complete the online module. These opportunities will be provided to Students/Volunteers and faculty in a timely fashion and are expected to be completed prior to their experience in the community.
<h3>Continuing reflection and evaluation</h3>
Continuing opportunities will be provided for group discussion, reflection and presentations on topic of interest to community and Students/Volunteers and faculty

<strong>Accommodations for Students/Volunteers with Disabilities</strong>

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, require that VCU provide "academic adjustments" or "reasonable accommodations" to any student who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. The accommodations agreed upon for coursework related to VCU units engaged in the Health Hub do <strong>not</strong> automatically apply to the co-curricular activities of the program. If a student wishes to have accommodations be considered in the co-curricular requirement, they must meet with their success coach to discuss their situation. This should include providing any documentation that might be necessary to provide accommodations to program guidelines. The success coach will then alert the Director who will work with Students/Volunteers on an individual basis to determine what steps, if any, should be taken for the student to be successful in the program given their unique needs.
The VCU Health Hub at 25th provides detailed descriptions for all program activities that include logistics such as start time, end time, and meeting location. Students/Volunteers who participate at the Health Hub will need to coordinate their own transportation method to and from the site. Without prior approval by the site director, parking in the 25th Street Complex parking lot will not permitted.  Parking on the street is strongly discouraged and utilizing alternative transportation options are encouraged. Some of those alternative options are:
 	<li>GRTC Bus: GRTC Route 12 is located at 25th and S Street, about a 2 minute walk from the Hub.</li>
 	<li>Aspire Van: The Aspire Van is only available for use by programs that need transportation for 10 - 15 people.  The van can be requested by program leads by contacting the site director.</li>
Students/Volunteers should be aware that if they are driving their own vehicle or carpooling with another student to park in locations not specified above that the owner of the vehicle is expected to have car insurance in compliance with driver laws. Additionally, Students/Volunteers should be mindful of driving best practices that include wearing a safety belt at all times, obeying all traffic laws, and not driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
<h3>Risk Management</h3>
The VCU Health Hub at 25th provides Students/Volunteers with a multitude of service opportunities in a variety of settings inside and out the Health Hub. Some opportunities may involve more risk than others depending on the volunteer needs of the program or community based organization. The sign up process for VCU allows Students/Volunteers to select the service opportunities that accommodate their schedules, interests, and needs. Certain internal and external partners require that volunteers sign waivers prior to serving due to the risks involved. Students/Volunteers who do not sign these waivers will not be able to participate in service with those programs or partners. Any internal or external partners requiring waivers will be noted upon registration and confirmation. It is important that Students/Volunteers consider the risks involved in serving with any internal or external community based partner and make an informed decision on whether or not they will participate in that activity.

<strong>Exercise Smart Risk Management</strong>
 	<li><strong>Be safe. </strong>Make sure that someone knows when you are going to your service site and how to reach you if needed. Let people know your schedule. Do not carry large amounts of cash or wear excessive jewelry that might attract attention. Park in well-lit areas and take extra precautions at night.</li>
 	<li><strong>Familiarize yourself with the area. </strong>Know where phones, emergency exits, police stations, 24-hour stores, gas stations and staff offices are located.</li>
 	<li><strong>When in doubt, ask for help. </strong>Your site supervisor understands the issues at your site and you are encouraged to approach him/her with problems or questions. Your supervisor can assist you in determining the best way to respond in difficult or uncomfortable situations.</li>
 	<li><strong>Work in pairs or groups if appropriate. </strong>It can be advantageous to work in pairs or groups so that you are never alone with a client/participant without adequate supervision.</li>
 	<li><strong>Trust your instincts and intuition. </strong>If you are feeling unsafe or uneasy about a situation, it is best to trust your instincts. You are not required to participate in any activity that makes you feel uncomfortable.</li>
 	<li><strong>Maintain boundaries. </strong>Maintain a healthy emotional distance with clients/participants. Do not lend clients/participants money, give out your address or phone number, transport clients/participants in your personal vehicle or provide services that you are not trained to provide.</li>
 	<li><strong>Expect the unexpected. </strong>Your experiences will not always be completely predictable from week to week. Try to stay flexible and learn from every situation, even the ones that appear at first to be challenging or unsuccessful.</li>
<h3>Health Hub Program Cancellation Guidelines* </h3>
VCU Health Hub at 25th programs, projects, activities, and events may be cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control (e.g., weather, partner cancellation, low resident enrollment) at the discretion of the program lead and site director.  Registered Students/Volunteers will receive email updates about cancellations. Campus sponsored events may be cancelled without any advanced notice (i.e. require no advance registration).
Confidentiality is an important aspect of working in the community as a way to maintain the trust, respect, and dignity of those served by VCU and our community based partners. It includes maintaining the privacy of others. The expectation of our community partners is that faculty, staff, and Students/Volunteers will not discuss or reveal private information to outside parties about activities and/or situations that occur while working within or on behalf of the Health Hub. This excludes discussing service activities with other VCU Health Hub program staff, VCU faculty and staff not present, community based partner participants and staff, community members staff and students/volunteers unless explicitly given permission by the program lead or the site director. If a situation arises where a student or volunteer feels unsafe or where a person may be in danger, the student or volunteer should report it immediately to the onsite supervisor (for the program or partner organization) and discuss the situation with the VCU Health Hub at 25th Site Director.
<h3>Background Checks</h3>
All VCU Health Hub at 25th students/volunteers and volunteers are required to complete a background check through Verified Volunteers during their first semester at the Health Hub. The background check has a cost for the student. Students/volunteers purchase a Level III background check <i>and</i> a ‘Fast Pass’ which allows students/volunteers to request that their background check be shared with community partners who require it.  Students/volunteers will receive an email from Verified Volunteers with detailed instructions, a link to complete the background check, and instructions on how to purchase a “Fast Pass.”

Students/Volunteers’ privacy is of the upmost importance to the VCU Health Hub at 25th. The results of the background check <i>will not</i> impact a student’s ability to continue volunteering at the Health Hub.  Furthermore, the results of the background check will be housed online in Verified Volunteer’s secured database and will be kept strictly confidential.  VCU will not share the results with community partners. Students/Volunteers share their own background check directly and privately with individual community partners through Verified Volunteer’s online platform.  In this process, it will be the partner’s responsibility to request a copy of a student’s personal background check, and it is the student’s decision whether or not to share the results.  Most VCU staff will have no (or limited) access to these results.

VCU give notice to students/volunteers of community partners who require a background check for volunteers. Students/volunteers who wish to serve at those organizations must agree to share <i>and</i> successfully pass their background check. If students/volunteers do not wish to share their background check or do not pass based on the organization’s standards, they can work with VCU program staff to find opportunities to serve at the Health Hub that do not require a background check.
<h3>Photos and Social Media</h3>
The use of technology and cell phones makes it very easy to take photos and share them with the world. To maintain the privacy of our partner organizations, VCU students/volunteers may not take photographs of anyone receiving services during an engagement activity. This is particularly important in regards to the privacy and protection of minors under the age of 18. In addition to violating an individual’s privacy, constant picture taking does not allow students/volunteers to be fully engaged and present in service activities. Program staff will work with partner agencies to gain permission to take photographs during certain events.

Students/volunteers are permitted to take photos with and of other VCU participants with appropriate verbal permission. While posting on social media is common practice, it is customary and appropriate to ask a fellow student (or staff member) permission before posting a picture or remark about them. Students/volunteers will be expected to complete a photo release during orientation for program staff to take pictures of students/volunteers participating in program activities. These pictures may be used in program and VCU Health Hub at 25th advertising, presentations, or on social media. All students/volunteers are encouraged to be connected to the Health Hub and program through social media outlets used by the Health Hub and program.
<h3>10 Tips for Serving in the Community</h3>
 	<li>Be on-time (that means 5 minutes early!).</li>
 	<li>Follow the rules of the organization where you are serving.</li>
 	<li>Be fully present during the activities. No cell phone use.</li>
 	<li>Communicate with VCU Health Hub program and the partner staff in a timely and professional fashion.</li>
 	<li>Ask questions to clarify expectations and tasks.</li>
 	<li>Take initiative when appropriate.</li>
 	<li>Make connections between your service in the community and content you have learned in your VCU courses.</li>
 	<li>Listen to the ideas and opinions of others without making quick judgments.</li>
 	<li>Engage in discussions with community members, fellow VCU Students/Volunteers from all disciplines and units, and staff about community issues and the impact of your service.</li>
<h3>Common Community Partner Concerns</h3>
 	<li>Students/Volunteers are late (if driving/walking on their own).</li>
 	<li>Students/Volunteers are disconnected during service (on phone and/or not paying attention).</li>
 	<li>Students/Volunteers are dressed inappropriately for service and/or environment.</li>
 	<li>Students/Volunteers complain about the service not feeling like something that is important.</li>
 	<li>Students/Volunteers inappropriately suggest ways the organization can improve or do their work better.</li>
 	<li>Students/Volunteers do not maintain boundaries with clients (particularly children).</li>
 	<li>Students/Volunteers show up inconsistently.</li>
 	<li>Students/Volunteers come with a sense of entitlement.</li>
 	<li>Students/Volunteers do not take initiative.</li>
 	<li>Students/Volunteers want immediate responses to questions (i.e.-sending an email at 9:00pm and again at 9:00am the next day)</li>
 	<li>Students/Volunteers do not communicate professionally verbally and in writing (use slang, curse words, etc.)</li>
 	<li>Students/Volunteers do not respect the culture of the organization.</li>
<h3>VCU Health Hub at 25th Student Advocacy and Activism</h3>
VCU Health Hub at 25th students are some of the most engaged and vocal students on VCU’s campus (possibly in the whole country!). The VCU Health Hub at 25th staff fully supports the rights of students to voice their opinions, share their ideas, and when faced with oppressive forces advocate for change. The Civil Rights Movement, the end of apartheid, and the protests of the Vietnam War were largely led by college Students. Today there are still many issues that need to be addressed in society, and the VCU Health Hub at 25th serves as a vehicle for using collective action to strategically impact the issues of community building, resident empowerment and agency, environmental sustainability, health and wellness, and care navigation.

As a program, the role of the VCU Health Hub at 25th is <i>not</i> to take political stances on issues. Rather, the aim of the VCU Health Hub at 25th is to shed light on community-identified issues and to work with community partners to strategically address those issues through service activities and events that promote the general well-being of the community. For some students, learning about community engagement and participating in service activities sponsored by the VCU Health Hub at 25th ignites a desire to do more than learn and serve. They wish to advocate, protest, and/or become politically involved in issues. While the VCU Health Hub at 25th cannot sponsor a student’s individual advocacy efforts, the staff is committed to providing students with support and resources to ensure that they act safely and responsibly. Below are a few guidelines to assist students with understanding the role of the VCU Health Hub at 25th in relation to their personal advocacy and activism efforts.

<i>The VCU Health Hub at 25th Staff WILL:</i>
 	<li>Support the right of all VCU Health Hub at 25th students to have their voices heard on issues.</li>
 	<li>Provide all VCU Health Hub at 25th students with resources on effectively advocating for change using research-based best practices.</li>
 	<li>Listen to VCU Health Hub at 25th Students’ ideas.</li>
 	<li>Share information about issues and events with VCU Health Hub at 25th Students.</li>
 	<li>Ask VCU Health Hub at 25th students to think critically about their plans of action and to consider the impact they will have on the student and the community (including public safety).</li>
 	<li>Be consistent in providing the same support to all VCU Health Hub at 25th students regardless of their stance on an issue.</li>
<i>Students as Individual Citizens vs. VCU Participants</i>

When you advocate for specific causes or issues that you are passionate about it, must be done as an individual and not as a student working in or for the VCU Health Hub at 25th. For example, a student protesting for the living wage campaign should not go on the local news and say “I am in VCU and as a Health Hub program we….” While the program supports the uplift of all community members, VCU is a state-supported, public institution. As such, it is very important that VCU Health Hub at 25th efforts are not viewed as partisan. As an individual student and citizen, you have rights that allow you to speak up about issues in a variety of ways using methods that are not appropriate for the VCU Health Hub program.

<i>Creating a Culture of Agency</i>

The VCU Health also wants our students to not only advocate for services but to empower our citizens to join you as a citizen to advocate for themselves. Over time the field of public health has taught us that working with marginalized communities requires its allies to start with the priorities of those whom they advocate on behalf of and not their own. The health care field must move beyond deploying technical solutions for acute illnesses and trauma. It must learn to support people and communities to define and shape their own health.
<h3>The 12 principles for fostering community agency are:</h3>
 	<li>Include in a community’s collective effort those who live there, those who work there, and those who deliver or support services provided there</li>
 	<li>Spend time understanding differences in context, goals and power</li>
 	<li>Appreciate the arc of local history as part of the story of a place</li>
 	<li>Elicit, value and respond to what matters to community residents</li>
 	<li>Facilitate and support the sharing of power, including acknowledging existing imbalances and building the capacity to use it</li>
 	<li>Operate at four levels at the same time: individual, community, institutional and policy</li>
 	<li>Accept that this is long-term, iterative work</li>
 	<li>Embrace uncertainty, tension and missteps as sources of success</li>
 	<li>Measure what matters, including the process and experience of the work</li>
 	<li>Build a vehicle buffered from the constraints of existing systems and able to respond to what happens, as it happens</li>
 	<li>Build a team capable of working in a collective, iterative way, to include navigating the tensions inherent in this work.</li>
 	<li>Pursue sustainability creatively; it’s as much about narrative, process and relationships as it is about resources.</li>
<strong>Ensuring Program Success</strong>
<h3>Program Correspondence</h3>
Email is the formal means of communication for VCU Health Hub at 25th. Students are expected to check their VCU account and volunteer the email address on file on a regular basis for pertinent Health Hub and program information. Program staff will try to limit the amount of program communication so students/volunteers do not feel inundated with requests. All students/volunteers will receive a regular email detailing upcoming events along with special announcements. Students/Volunteers that are contacted by Health Hub and program staff with an inquiry that requires a response or action are expected to respond within 48 hours or the given timeframe.

Students/Volunteers wishing to communicate with VCU Health Hub at 25th residents or community partners must contact the Site Director with the information. If the communication is in regards to VCU Health Hub at 25th participation in an event or activity, the request must be submitted via email to the Site Director at least 3 weeks in advance of the event. This provides the Health Hub staff an opportunity to find out more information about the event and post information if and where appropriate.
<h3>Student Accountability Process</h3>
Personal accountability is an important component of individual success. When students/volunteers cancel an event at the last minute or do not show up, it greatly impacts the VCU Health Hub at 25th. Many of the community residents and partners that VCU serves count on the students/volunteers to implement their programmatic missions. If you cannot make an programmatic event, activity, or project that you sign up for, simply cancel at least 48 hours in advance.

To hold students/volunteers accountable for the experiences they sign up to attend, the Health Hub and its programs and partners utilize a clearly outlined student accountability process. This process takes into account the need to be flexible and an understanding of student needs (we know you are not perfect), while prioritizing our goal to provide community residents and partners with consistent service. Students/volunteers who miss a program, project, event, or activity will be notified via email with information on next steps to take based on how many activities they have missed. This process resets each semester.

This material was adapted from the VCU ASPIRE service learning handbook.

<h3>Resources and Reading Material</h3>
 	<li>The Welll video link:</li>
 	<li>Building Health through Community Agency:</li>




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