It has been almost a year since my first journal entry. I realize now that a lot for me has changed - some for the good and some for the bad. The Good for me has been how I managed to serve and thrive, despite all of the things that have happened in the negative to me during my second term of service. For starters, just like my first service term, I lost my supervisor when she took a position with another agency. To make matters worse, while I enjoyed my service term, there were a lot of things that literally presented themselves as obstacles in the way of blocking me, and if anyone knows me, they know that I do not play about my role in service.
2019 has been the year of hard knock life for me. When I purchased my first car, there were all sorts of issues. I purchased the car from Auto Giant and I will never do that again - nothing used either. It will have to be a very brand new vehicle. Six months into my service term, I discovered that I was over sold on the car and that there were all sorts of issues with the car. If this was not enough, my physical health became a serious concern for me as I found myself still in healing mode from the workplace bullying I endured while working for the Social Security Administration. To make matters worse, I lost my 94 year-old Great Aunt and a few months later, my very last 72 year-old Grandmother. A few months after my Grandma I lost a Naval Veteran. The hurts kept on coming. My credit also took a hit and my car insurance was always in jeopardy of being cancelled. I was always out of gas and my challenges just did not seem to want to end. Additionally, my landlord gave the house a roommate that no one can stand because of her behavior. I had a rough year and the only thing that was my saving grace, were the Bowie Police Department, my Church and my VISTA Service. I had reached a point where I didn't even want to come home anymore and sadly today, I remain in that fashion because we have such an awful person in a roommate living at the house. My service to the communities I work and live in as a whole, is what has helped me open my eyes to new possibilities and when I did I was able to accomplish some amazing things.
To share those amazing things, my Post the MOST Network and Maryland MENTOR (Sister Organization), put on a conference this year as they have before in the past. I was a part of the entire process. The Highlight of this was getting an entire state to back the conference by issuing CEU's - Continuing Education Units/Credits. I was amazed when I got that particular email and approval letter. I also accomplished the Collaborative effort for this project because it was such a large undertaking. I was able to complete the deliverables and followed the task deadline. I also set the deadline and when I atteneded the conference, I was just so in awe of what I had done, that I couldn't believe it. I also managed to end up in the news for National Night Out! VISTA's doing some amazing things in their personal time always sheds positive light on their Host Site! I am very active in the City of Bowie, Maryland and I am a Member of the Bowie Police Department's Citizen's Police Academy. Thus, I was featured in the news and founded my first Committee September 2019 - The City of Bowie Residential Committee and it's sole purpose is to create, plan and implement opportunities of engagement between law enforcement and the community in which they serve. Likewise I recently supervised a team of people at one of my church functions called COTM - Church on the Move, wherein we packaged lunches for the Homeless Women's Shelter, Made Greeting Cards for Nursing Home Residents, Prepared Lunches for a Homeless Encampment, and served our local ER Staff Lunch. This year, I also put on a Teacher's Appreciation Palooza at the Local Office Depot/Office Max and the Teachers were highly appreciative! They are never thanked enough! The Police Department, My Church, My Committee, VISTA Service and other Community Initiatives, created outlets for me to focus on something more, other than my problems!
Conclusively, this term of service has truly shaped me and though it will end in a few weeks on a bittersweet note, I feel much more prepared to take on the world and any adversity! I hope that I inspire others. No matter what's going on, your story is important, but what will shape it is Attitude! Under AmeriCorps VISTA, The Bowie Police Department, The City of Bowie, and St. Matthew's United Methodist Church, I Served and Thrived!