Life After RYY

It’s hard to believe that only a third of the way through my year of service, people keep asking me what I’m going to do when it’s over. As much as I just want to enjoy the present, I have given it some thought…

If you asked me where I would be in 2012 two years ago, I would have told you I’d be finishing grad school and getting my master’s degree in speech-language pathology. However after working with clients for a year, I found that the actual work made me pretty miserable.  Being involved in community development at the Youth Bureau has been the perfect opportunity to explore careers in a field which I’ve always been passionate about, but had previously dismissed because I was told to find something that would provide more job opportunities or better pay. I don’t regret my education background; there is no way I’d be here today if not for the experiences I had in my short stint as a teacher. But I’ve realized that finishing college was only the very beginning of what I hope is a continuous journey in finding my niche.

For me, this year is about leaving behind others’ expectations of me and following my own path. I’ve learned that if you can find the place where your passions intersect with your skills and talents, you will find success there—no matter how unexpected. So what’s next? I plan to apply for jobs with a nonprofit. I’d like to do something with volunteering, service-learning, community development, or similar, whether in New York or internationally. I’d love to go to NYC to be closer to my family, but I wouldn’t mind spending another year in Rochester. I’m considering another year of VISTA too, potentially as VISTA leader for RYY. I also know that I want to get a master’s degree eventually, but I’d like to get more work experience first. Now I just have to wait and see what opportunities present themselves…

-Leanne

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