Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Taking the First Step

Growing up I always went to church, but I don't really feel like I ever got the sense of "help out your community" from that. My parents were always telling us to love your neighbor as yourself and treat them with respect, so I think from that I gained a compassion for helping others from them. It wasn't until I came to PVCC that I really got into community service (service learning) projects. At the time I didn't know I would love doing service learning because I was new to all the opportunity had to offer, but I did believe in helping others. After the first semester was over I began to understand their worth and fulfillment. This ties into the chapter quite well because it is all about taking the first step and going beyond your confort zone toward making a difference. You can't always know how things will turn out, but just by having faith and taking the first step you have begun a new journey. As said in the book by Phillipe Vernier, “Have you strength enough to take this first step?... You will be astonished to feel that the effort accomplished, instead of having exhausted your strength, has doubled it- and that you already see more clearly what you have to do next.” After taking the first step to get involved in a service learning project my first semester here, it became very clear to me what I had to do next- continue to participate in them!

Being the middle of three kids, I have always been the problem solver. The person my older brother and younger sister looked to during the heat of battle to solve arguments and figure out solutions that best fit both sides. Also tied to that, I feel that I am a good listener and can look at a situation from more than one perspective in order to come up with the best solution. I do have some leadership experience. I was captain of my high school cheerleading team for two years. And although this job might not seem very hard, imagine trying to stop arguments between 20-30 teenage girls that all have their own opinion and who all think their way is right. It definitely took some negotiation. I am also a fairly organized person, always making lists and agendas for doing things. I think any these would help in a particular cause I am in because they are all skills that have the ability to make the group itself work together better.


Derick the Crowell said...

My experience has been very similar to yours. Without going on a long tangent about my history, I came to PVCC to change my life and strive to meet my potential. It was participation in the Emerging Leaders program last semester that made me realize I wanted to dedicate my life to serving mankind. For those who haven't participated in EL, DO IT! DO IT NOW! Seriously though it's great, it changed the way I looked at the world both through the totality of the experience and one specific facet over the retreat. Those who were there with me probably know which facet I am talking about, as it had a pretty visible effect on me. ;)

Mediation is such an important skill! The world needs more skilled mediators so that we can start resolving conflicts with consensus (everyone wins) rather than compromise (everyone sort of loses) as much as possible.

I look forward to sharing this experience with you, maybe you can teach me some mediation tricks. ;)

Dr. V said...

I am also the middle child so I completely understand your skills. I too, always find the peace but other times I just keep out of it.

OMG, 20-30 teenage girls.. you probably needed yoga at night... I definitely would have had a migraine.

Ana Chandler said...


I loved your comment it is very uplifting. I am too happy to see you getting involved in community service and seeing the benifit that it brings to your life!

Enrique Cardon said...

I did not really learn about service until I went to GCC too. Its nice to hear that we are all discovering great things while we are attending school!

I am also glad to hear you are a problem solver. That will definitely come in handy as we work together in a group. I am sure there will be many things you will help guide us through!