I begin my term as HASP President with a great deal of gratitude and confidence in HASP. I’m grateful for our rich 34-year history and the leadership that has brought us to this point in time. I’m confident as we work together during this period of many transitions that we will grow stronger and will discern a vision for our future. Thank you for entrusting me with the privilege of serving as HASP President, and serving with you, this coming year.
Recently, I’ve been pondering what it means to be a peer-led organization. While Curriculum Committee Chair, my focus was on HASP members teaching other HASP members. That is a key and a very valuable component of being peer-led. Over the past year, 51 HASP members taught classes (about 1/3 of the presenters). I continue to encourage more HASP members to teach courses. It is a great learning opportunity for the presenter as well as for the students. Our lifelong learning members are eager and gracious participants in the classroom and treat all our teachers with respect. Teach once and you’re likely to return to teach again.
Teaching is not the only way we are peer-led. As our HASP community has grown, our organizational structure has grown. We have members serving on the Board of Directors, standing committees, subcommittees, and short-term task forces to facilitate our many avenues of learning and to lead our organization. During this past year, 71 HASP members served on these boards. In addition, many volunteered at the front desk and greeted visitors, cared for our library, provided technical support, and pitched in in many other ways. Part of our peer-led commitment is serving in the Hope and Holland communities. Last year, 60 HASP members volunteered in Hope College classrooms.
Tallying the numbers above, over 200 HASP members have been directly involved during this past year in leading HASP. We are truly a peer-led community of lifelong learners. These numbers do not include the other side of the equation, the many members who attended classes, participated in monthly programs, and enjoyed special events.
As you renew your membership for the coming year, you are asked to identify specific areas of interest in which you might be willing to serve HASP. Please give this some thought. This information will help us get you involved in areas of your interest. Many leadership roles expire each year, and we want to connect interests to responsibilities as we continue to be peer-led into our coming future.
During this new HASP year, let us continue to engage in the full breadth our HASP learning opportunities, to explore and discuss important topics with curiosity and respect, to serve our Holland and Hope communities with grace, to participate fully in peer-led leadership, and through these avenues develop new friendships as we continue to nurture existing relationships.