Being a first year graduate student, at the same institution where I received my undergraduate degree just a few short months ago, things can be a little more difficult then if I went to another institution. Back in November when an e-mail went out to B-W Staff asking about trip advisors for the upcoming Alternative Spring Break trips. I jumped at the opportunity to advise a trip. And thus the process began…
I met with the Community Outreach Director to talk with her about the position and for her to make an overall decision as to if I were truly ready for the task at hand. Not because I wasn’t ready for the job but because it’s not often that graduate students take a group of students out of state for these types of trips. However, she saw that I was ready for this and I was offered to advise the ASB trip to Kissimmee, Florida at Give Kids The World.
I was blessed to have not only an amazing trip leader but an amazing group of students who really weren’t just there to do service but rather to become a family. We lived in an apartment at a women’s shelter in downtown Orlando, where we did service as well. We shared one bathroom, one bedroom, and one living room, which was our living quarters for the majority of us. We packed lunches together, drove in mini-vans together, did everything together.
Give Kids The World is where we completed our service projects. At Give Kids The World provides memorable, magical, cost-free experiences to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. It’s truly one of those places where you go, have a magical time, but can never really explain what you’ve felt, unless you were there- volunteer or family. I am so happy that I got the chance to experience this place- as both a person and an advisor to a group of out-of-this-world students.
Going back to my one word challenge, I am happy that I EMBRACED this amazing opportunity and that I had a wonderful support from my students and my peers. Thank you to everyone who supported me during this adventure, of a lifetime.