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?
My approach towards service work has significantly changed since the beginning of my year of service. I have always been the type of person who likes control (not in like a serial killer way…), but I like assignments and tasks I do to go the way I planned and expected and I was used to succeeding this way throughout college. I took this attitude towards my VAD and VISTA goals this year and I received a harsh reality check.
At the beginning of my year of service I was having difficulties accepting that when something I tried to implement failed that it was not always my fault. There were so many factors outside my control such as language barriers and the commitment of volunteers. After several breakdowns, I began to start going more with the flow, accepting things as they were and working around them instead of trying to change them and determined that successful service work requires a lot of flexibility!
I hope that this approach to service work will help me in my future career plans. As a social worker, I am sure I will encounter several of the same problems I did during my year with RYY and I hope that some of the lessons I learned will be beneficial to me in the future. Also, being placed at Brown Square Health Center has drastically changed what I wanted to do with my life (which is why I came up with this question). Prior to this year I would have never even considered pursuing a degree in Public Health. However, through my placement I know I want to continue some of the same initiatives for health promotion that I have worked on this year.
Lastly, I have learned how important it is to have a support system of like-minded people. If it weren’t for everyone in RYY I probably would have driven myself crazy. It is hard to find people who are experiencing the same personal and professional issues, but being able to vent and relate to all the RYY VISTAs has done wonders for my sanity and my approach to service work. I hope that wherever I end up working will have similar environments. ❤ RYY ❤