Reflections on a Year of Service

 

On Tuesday, SCI AmeriCorps members came full circle as we attended graduation festivities at the Great Hall in Codman Square, Dorchester.


It was certainly not an easy year for many of us. Financial concerns, serious injuries, and graduate school responsibilities are just a sampling of the obstacles some of our members faced when serving this year. Still, 24 members proudly graduated our AmeriCorps program on Tuesday, showing the power of perseverance and commitment to service in this group of Millennials.


My personal SCI AmeriCorps journey has been a rollercoaster, to say the least. In the past year I moved to Massachusetts, suffered a concussion that put me out of commission for several weeks, got engaged to my partner of three years, and, on my final day of service, was granted the right to marry her in any state we choose. It has been a year chock full of what Facebook would call “life events.”


I’ve learned so much about myself this year, and I’ve learned so much from others. I’ve learned that I am capable of more than I ever imagined. With the help of an amazing committee and other volunteers, I planned and executed a Forum on Social Capital and Health, a topic I knew next to nothing about last September. I have learned how to manage and edit a website, how to navigate the giant world of Massachusetts nonprofits, and I’ve learned that one is never too old to change paths.


In the final months of my service, I was asked to provide transitional support to the Gloucester Youth Council,  leading weekly meetings and facilitating their many service activities. Little did I know when I accepted the challenge with slight trepidation that working this group of young people would have the most profound impact on me of any of my AmeriCorps experiences. It’s easy as one gets older to feel a separation between oneself and younger generations. My time with the GYC showed me that one cannot be defined by her age. These young people should be defined by their achievements (of which there are many) and their convictions (which are so strong). It gave me faith in our future as Americans and it taught me that I might not be so old myself, in spirit at least. I’m grateful for my experiences as an SCI AmeriCorps member and look forward to joining the SCI staff officially in the fall.


Have a wonderful summer!