When my friend Jeanette told me about AmeriCorps, it piqued my interest due to the education award they offer. Attending college was a dream of mine that I never actually expected to become a reality. The cost being so high, I felt it was just out of my reach.
When I began research on the different AmeriCorps programs, I noticed that many of them are centered around young people. Having worked with kids for various outreach programs with my church in Reno, I developed a real affinity for youth and an uncanny ability to connect with them. So, using this as the criteria to filter my search by, I began sifting through the many options available in order to find the best fit for my talents and interests.
In addition to my love for kids, I have a strong interest in nutrition, so when I came across the No Kid Hungry program, I knew I had found exactly what I was looking for! And, when I was awarded the position.... well, as you can imagine, I was ecstatic!
All my friends, or at least most of them, thought I'd gone off my rocker! Nonetheless, determined to make this work no matter what the cost, I sold the bulk of my belongings for peanuts on the dollar, packed whatever I could fit in the back of my little pick-up truck and headed off on the long journey to Troy, Montana!
Once at my destination, I started to wonder if maybe my friends had been right! What had I gotten myself into anyway? Here I was almost nine hundred and thirty miles from home, and about to start a job I knew practically nothing about! What was I thinking? Completely out of my comfort zone and stripped of everyone and everything I was accustomed to, I reminded myself why I was doing this, pulled myself up by my boot-straps, rolled up my sleeves and concentrated on the daunting task at hand.
First things first -- I had to get a grasp on what exactly my mission was and the actions needed to attain it. I'd never done this sort of work before, and, to be honest, I was extremely overwhelmed, to say the least!
Now for the good news -- after taking a couple weeks to acclimate, I've really started getting into the swing of things. This is not to say that I'm no longer overwhelmed (there's just so much to be done), just that I'm not overwhelmed and confused.
The plan for the remainder of this month -- to head over to Libby and assist them in the grant application process, implement breakfast programs there, and oversee the details of the operation to ensure everything goes as planned! It's a tall order, but I trust that, with the help of Jessica (my AmeriCorps supervisor), I will meet the challenge and excel!
I will keep you posted as my story continues to unfold. Until next time, remember:
"Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure!"
Your comrade in arms,