Being placed with the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown for my AmeriCorps position has been a WONDERFUL experience. Not only have I learned a lot about myself through my service experience, but I've also learned more about my hometown than I would have ever known had I not taken advantage of this amazing opportunity.
I have a wide array of experiences and work with a variety of different individuals. I get to work with underprivileged youth and tutor them for their classes. I work with privileged youth who attend Ursuline Preschool. I work with older adults, teaching them about their social media devices (phones, computers, etc.). I teach English to mothers who speak Spanish and Arabic as their first languages. Finally, I write letters to incarcerated individuals at Ohio State Penitentiary. The individuals I work with have made such an impact on my life, I can only hope I've helped them as well!
I have learned how to better serve individuals of different races, socioeconomic status, and personalities. I've learned how to lesson plan, empower individuals, and run meetings about different topics and projects I'm working on. I have become much more aware of the environment around me, rather than being so naive of things going on in the town where I've spent 23 years.
Through my service experience, I've also gotten a lot closer to God. I never really prayed, or felt that I needed to. However, after seeing the issues and things people right down the street from me deal with, I have not been able to turn a blind eye. I know that prayers will be answered and these people will be helped soon!
This is an excerpt of a larger interview Laura gave to the Catholic Volunteer Network.