Hello all! This week I’ve been out of the office on a family vacation, working remotely from the sandy beaches of Hilton Head Island.
So since I have been away from the Per Scholas team this week, I thought I would share a bit about my interest in this fellowship and the non-profit sector in general. I have had the privilege of serving with and supporting several non-profit organizations since high school. I’ve served within my church and school for many years, and more recently in my community, so service has been a part of my life for a while now. To be honest, it probably started as a way to build up my college applications, so keep up pushing those extra-curriculars, universities!
Organizations focused on providing HIV/AIDS education and treatment are especially close to my heart and I have had the privilege and the pleasure of serving within two such organizations. I traveled to Swaziland two summers ago and served with The Luke Commission, a medical ministry based in Swaziland that is providing hope and healing across that beautiful country. In Swaziland, I helped set up TLC’s bi-weekly clinics, tested patients for HIV, distributed medications, unloaded entire shipping containers full of medical supplies and donated materials, and worked on a number of other tasks. At the end of the day I was bone-tired and fully aware that this work was done each and every day, whether a team of volunteers was there or not. It was an undeserved privilege to work with TLC and see how their operations are changing lives. The next summer, I put my tireless organizational impulses to good use and served as an administrative volunteer at ARC Ohio. My contributions were simple; anyone could have re-organized a filing cabinet or scanned some documents into a computer. But I was the one with the opportunity to do these things and again I recognized the distinct pleasure of service. These experiences showed me that it is an honor to serve another human being in any capacity.
I share these experiences with you because they are a huge part of the reason why I am here today. As I neared my graduation, I began to look for ways to use the skills I’d acquired in college for the service of others. Then I stumbled upon this incredible opportunity, applied, and was offered a spot amongst these excellent fellows. I realized then more than ever what a privilege it is to serve. Plenty of people wanted this fellowship and were certainly qualified for it, but I was awarded the opportunity. With such a great honor comes a great responsibility—did I just quote Spiderman? Oops!—to work diligently and to do good. It is my hope that I never take the chance to serve for granted and that I always do my best to love others and serve them well.
Be sure to check back next week because it’s the Per Scholas Columbus graduation and I am so excited to share it with you!