Americorps Autobiography

648 Words3 Pages
I am an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in Springfield, Massachusetts. In truth, I came here out of boredom and frustration. After struggling intensely with my mental health during my brief time in college, I made the decision to leave school and focus on getting better. In the meantime, I became a barista. The one redeeming quality of the job was interacting with members of my hometown community that I wouldn’t otherwise meet, and yet all the while I was yearning for something greater. (A pretty low bar, honestly; it’s not that hard to find greater purpose than lattes.) Afraid of slipping back into a depression if I couldn’t work on something I was passionate about, I scoured the internet for worthwhile causes and job opportunities, eventually ending up at the Americorps site. An opportunity to engage community residents in improving social and physical health in Springfield spoke to me, and three months later I was packing my life into a tiny Honda…show more content…
I have been embraced by my department; a group of single mothers far more educated than I am, who nevertheless give me a voice and an opportunity to speak. I sit at the table during community police meetings, and I am there when we gather with the hospitals and organizations that silently move mountains to improve the area. On the weekends, I organize sports and games in the park for kids at risk for gang recruitment. I helped sixth graders plant mums along Main Street; for many, it was the first time they had planted anything. Mums and sports in the park are precious, surface level community projects. It’s not hard to lose myself in the feeling of having done some tangible good, yet there are reminders everywhere that this community is in need of deeper and more significant change. Springfield is heavily segregated and poverty-stricken, and desperation breeds
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