“Now that your year of service is almost complete, how has RYY, your host site, and AmeriCorps*VISTA changed your perspectives and/or changed your future plans?”
Moving forward from my year of service, I will carry not only all of the invaluable work skills (networking, time management, youth work, grant writing, event coordinating, etc) I’ve developed, but also my reinforced belief in the power of a having positive perspective on life and work. I could write for quite a while how my thoughts on poverty, Rochester, and youth have transformed, but I thought I’d keep this more general…
My host site has really brought into focus just how important it is to network through relationship-building and just putting yourself out there. I have learned how to talk about what Biz Kid$ does while always keeping in mind my audience. In this way, I have gotten youth to sign up to participate in camp, recruited college students to volunteer, found businesses and colleges to collaborate with, and enticed donors to support the program. Because I truly believe in the program’s mission, this somewhat daunting responsibility became more of an enjoyable endeavor. This enthusiasm about my work, I realized, is important to fueling my everyday interactions with others. While, this doesn’t really change my future plans, but I’m sure it will guide me as I navigate through my (as of now undefined!) career path.
From RYY I have learned to…always get my reports in on time! Just kidding…kinda. Respecting other people’s time and deadlines is one of the greatest services you can do to another. After being the one anxiously waiting for such and such important document, I will always strive to meet and exceed the expectations of those that rely on me.
But really, I’ve realized how invaluable it is to be surrounded by a network of people who care about you, your work, and your successes. They are a wealth of resources and a safety net of continuous encouragement and support. Of course there will be no short supply of people out there who challenge my beliefs, but having a close circle of like-minded people goes a long way in keeping my energy level and motivation up. I’ve been so fortunate to also be surrounded by people in my organization who are so passionate about what they do, it would be impossible for it not to be contagious. I can only hope to have such positive people in my life as I move on from Biz Kid$ and VISTA. And if not, I hope to be the one stepping up and making people smile any way I can.
From all of the random, awesome and terrible, short-lived and long-lasting jobs I’ve had in my nearly 10 years of working, I’ve learned that your perspective on work is just that: yours. I might not be able to choose the tasks I’m assigned, the social/political/economic climate that affects my organization, the people I work with or their temperaments, etc, but I have the control over how I approach, react to, and improve everything in my surroundings. A have always thought a positive attitude will carry me further in life and work than anything else.