What have you been doing at your placement?
My interview told me that I would be "building a volunteer program." My name tag tells me that I am a "Volunteer Associate." In reality I feel that I am several different people all doing different things simultaneously. I guess that is what people mean when they say that their position "wears many hats." Working at DOORWAYS and creating a program for them has given me the opportunity to be a Manager, a Supervisor, a Human Resources Department, a Public Educator, a Creative, a Researcher, a Friend, an Administrator, and much much more. Daily.
Community living holds comfort within its sureness. It is a guarantee that you have a meal, a friend, a laugh, a cry, a blanket fort, and a good book. But much like many of the best things in life - it is hard earned and intentional making it all the more worth it.
What has been one surprise, challenge, or learning this year?
One of my surprise challenges is perhaps one that is not often shared on this news feed - living a life without other queer people. Back home I had formed a great QUILTBAG community which I had daily contact with. They were my closest friends. Moving to a place where I live on a high school campus, next door to Religious Sisters, with two cisgendered heterosexuals has been admittedly strange and has posed a lot of questions for me. I love the space that I am currently in and am growing as an individual that does not need to be defined by a sub culture in leaps and bounds.
What do you value about your relationship with the Loretto Community?
Can the answer be everything? Their generosity of spirit, guiding wisdom, sharp humor and wit have been a blessing this year. I am honored to have the chance to get to know this amazing community of people.
What advice do you have for someone considering a year of service?
I would begin by reflecting upon why you are considering a year of service in the first place. Do you think it is necessary for future employment, do you have nothing else to do with your life, or do you truly enjoy service to others? If your answer is anything other than the latter I would recommend that you look into alternative options. Remember - this is not the glamorous life. Secondly, spend a good amount of time researching programs that fit your values firstly and your interests secondly. Your job assignment can be easily changed but your values cannot.