"A Letter of Gratitude to AmeriCorps"
Happy AmeriCorps Week! I feel so lucky to be part of this celebration for a second year. I wanted to take a moment to thank you during this week that celebrates where you've been and where you're going.
After graduating from college, I was unsure of where I was going, but you gave me purpose. I have been able to gain professional experience while applying what I learned in the classroom to a real-world environment. Through the lens of "Make Poverty History", I have the ability to give back to my community and country through building capacity and sustainability at a social services nonprofit. You forced me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to do things I would normally be afraid to do, and I am a better person for that.
Since I grew up and went to college in Tucson, I thought I knew everything there is to know about my hometown. You humbled and matured me by showing me my community from a new and different perspective. I was able to see the struggles of those around me that were once invisible to me. I was no longer able to protect myself in my own bubble and had to see the sometimes harsh reality. The best part, though, is that you taught me there is something we can do about it. I have had this opportunity to work towards a better and brighter future because of you.
I have grown in so many ways throughout the last year and half-more than I could have ever imagined when I started-and, what I would like to say to you, AmeriCorps, is THANK YOU! Thank you for giving me lifelong friendships, a fresh perspective, determination to keep moving forward, and direction for the future. Thank you for existing and giving me and so many others the chance to learn and grow through national service. Thank you for being a companion and teacher and for making me a better me. I will carry what you have given me into my next steps and beyond, and I feel so honored to be part of your journey.