The One Year Plan
At the end of this quarter I will be graduating and I am proud to say that I have a one year plan. This plan has been sculpted by many influences. It is due in part to the strong community values of my family but also because of what I have learned here. From my Tenderloin immersion trip I was enlightened to social problems such as poverty, homelessness, and inequality. As a Community Facilitator for the Communitas Residential Learning Community, I rediscovered compassion, the significance of service, and working with a like-minded team. At the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, the themes of solidarity, social justice, and group reflection were highlighted. What these experiences and interactions showed me was that those values were important and that I needed to carry these ideals forward in my future endeavors.
Upon reflecting on those ideals I decided to apply for the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, a program I had learned about in several classes. I have even had the chance to meet the Jesuit Volunteers from San Francisco. JVC Northwest is ultimately a year of service program which connects applicants with volunteer placements within nonprofit organizations throughout the states of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. Volunteers live in community together, sharing a house where community and spirituality nights are held. And for me, the core values of spirituality/reflection, simple living, community, and social justice seemed right. After several rounds of interviews and a thoughtful guided discernment process I was happily placed with a YMCA in Grays Harbor, Washington. I will be working here starting this August to help coordinate an afterschool program for local youth. I will have the privilege to directly work with these kids two days a week.
It is true that one year really is not that long at all, but this is a decision that has been discerned. I could not be more excited to be a part of JVC Northwest for at least the upcoming year. I look forward to what this new job and community will teach me, how it will shape me. So that is it, the one year plan. It might not be grand or extreme, but I believe it will set a tone and direction for my ongoing journey. Washington – here I come!