Everyone has a story, yet rarely people take the time to listen. Some of these stories are full of joy and excitement while others are full of tragedies and pain. I want to listen to these stories and I want to help give those who live in desolation hope for the future—to give the rejected and forgotten a reliable friend who isn’t judgmental, believes in who they are and what they can become.
My heart for people started at a young age as my family helped others. My mother was an accountant for a lawyer and we once had a man stay with us for seven months in place of going to jail so he could move forward with his life. As a man took the journey off drugs and alcohol, my father was able to mentor him in our home. A young pregnant woman needed to get away from her abusive boyfriend and we took her in. We’ve had up to ten people living in our home at once helping them better themselves by equipping them with the necessary skills.
The values and morals that we hold dear to our heart originally stem from our families and how we are raised, but it is up to us to follow in that pattern. Since going to school and living on my own, I have chosen to get involved with my communities and work with nonprofits that are truly making a difference in individual’s lives. For the last three years, working with the mentally handicapped with Bona Vista has enabled me to pour energy and time into helping others enjoy their lives safely and cared for. Whether it be coaching Special Olympics or joking around and treating them like a human, you know their day was brighter because of who you are and what you have done for them.
This led me to explore another challenging job as a house-mother at Nesting Doves, a group home for pregnant or new mother ages 13-23. I was able to mentor and offer acceptance and hope to young women who felt rejected and despair. We worked on parenting and life skills that would allow them to be an independent good mother. Hopefully, the knowledge and skills they learned will break family patterns and better the lives of their children.
Community development is one aspect of Peace Corps. Giving the skills to individuals needed to produce change in their own lives and communities is something I believe in and have shown through past experiences. My degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences and a minor in Communication Arts has allowed me to basically learn about people and how to communicate effectively. Building relationships with individuals and taking the time to listen to their stories that show where they are and where they want go is one way I want to help others. Peace Corps takes it to the next level and I want to be a part of it.