Listening Companions are Santa Clara University faculty, staff and alumni who meet with recently returned Jean Donovan Fellows to support their personal reflection as they integrate their summer experience more fully into their lives. Fellows are sophomore, junior and senior students who choose to deepen their understanding of social justice issues through an intensive summer community-based learning experience of 5-7 weeks domestically or abroad. Fellows often have friends and family interested in hearing about the most memorable aspects of their summer.
However, finding a supportive community to discuss dimensions of the experience that have yet to be articulated because they require further reflection has been a challenge for Fellows. The Listening Companion program will be a key component of the post-experience reflection process and will pair a Listening Companion with a Fellow to support the student’s deepened reflection through one 45 minute meeting during the winter quarter. More information about the Listening Companion Role is below.
In "Big Questions, Worthy Dreams", Sharon Daloz Parks explores the potential for “mentoring communities” to help young adults grapple with the big questions of personal purpose, meaning, and social concern so that they may “discern a vision of the potential of life: the world as it ought to be and the self as it might become.”
-John Neafsey, A Sacred Voice is Calling
Listening Companion Role
Primary role of the Listening Companion is to listen and be present to the Fellow as she/he shares about their summer experience. Fellows often return and are easily able to share the memorable and good experiences of the summer, but find it challenging to find a supportive community for processing dimensions of the experience that were challenging, failed to meet their expectations, and that may require further reflection.
Listening Companions are encouraged to support the Fellow to deepen in their understanding of their experience by offering support/empathy, asking thoughtful questions, and showing a genuine interest in the aspects of the experience that fellows desire to share. (suggested questions will be shared with Listening Companions).
Listening Companion Requirements
Meet with recently returned Fellow for one -45 minute meeting in winter quarter. Listening Companion and Fellow will schedule meeting based on their availability schedule. (subsequent follow-up meeting(s) with Fellow are optional).
If you would like to serve as a Listening Companion please complete this short form.