When I graduated from Neumann University in 2016, I still had no idea what I wanted to do. I was very fortunate to find a nice, comfortable office job. It was your typical sit-at-a-desk 9 to 5, answering emails kind of job. On paper, it seemed like a perfect job, especially for someone coming out of college with not much professional experience. After working there for about ten months or so, I was starting to get burnt out. I knew that I wanted something more meaningful, but I didn’t know where to look.
I was inspired by the campus ministers at Neumann University, friends and family to consider a year of service. I looked into several different service organizations and eventually came across Mercy Volunteer Corps. The values of MVC stood out to me immediately. Before I knew it, I was packing my bags and heading to San Francisco for orientation, and before I could blink, I was moving to my new home for the year: Cincinnati, Ohio. If someone were to tell me that at 25, I would be living in Cincinnati, Ohio working at a school getting up every day at 5:45 a.m., I probably would have said that they were crazy.
This experience so far has been everything I had hoped it would be and so much more. To say that I have been living outside of my comfort zone these past seven months would be an understatement. I am working at St. Boniface School in Cincinnati, Ohio, an inner city school that provides many fantastic services to children who may not have access to otherwise. Many of the children that attend St. Boniface come from families that are at or below the poverty line. ]The education of each child is very important here but the overall well-being is our top priority.
The children have already taught me more than I could possibly ever hope to teach them. They have taught me what it means to be resilient, patient and truly compassionate. They have shown me how to be happy and excited about the little things. Being around them has brought so much joy and laughter into my life. There are some days that are more difficult than others. If I didn’t have those tough days, I don’t think I would appreciate the really delightful moments. This experience has been the most humbling experience of my life and doing a year of service has been the best decision I have ever made.