My placement is an adult education and workforce development nonprofit called Academy of Hope. I lead adult education classes for adults who are planning to take the GED or who are working toward getting their high school diploma. I teach math, reading, science, and computers. I also spend some time doing one-on-one tutoring and planning events with student leaders at AoH.
What is one thing you love about community living?
I enjoy the support that I feel from each of my community members and their challenge to keep working hard at whatever I am doing. My community is there for me when I have difficult days and they laugh with me on easier days. I love that community living makes space for this support along with creating a space in which community members can respectfully challenge themselves and others.
What has been one surprise, challenge or learning this year?
One thing that I am still learning is how to adjust to a new year. As a second year volunteer, it has been a challenge (but a fun one) to let go of old customs and habits to create a new space with a new community. I have really enjoyed the ways in which I have connected with my community by being open to that transition.
What do you value about your relationship with the Loretto Community?
Since I was introduced to the Loretto community almost five years ago, I have always had a strong connection to its members’ commitment to peace and justice. Each person involved in Loretto has a unique story and perspective on how to live out peace and justice, and I love that I am part of a community that is willing to share those stories and support me as I work to live out Loretto values.
What advice do you have for someone considering doing a year of service?
Be flexible! It’s great to have expectations, and it’s impossible to not have expectations. My advice would be to keep an open mind and try to find a balance between compromise and sticking to the things that are really important to who you are. That balance is certainly something I will be working toward my whole life, but the more I work at it, the more I have been able to form deep and meaningful relationships.