My year is complete. My bags are packed and flight ticket has been purchased. As I sit to reflect on this year I cannot even begin to imagine what will come next for me. A few weeks ago at our Debriefing Retreat we were asked to reflect on our years in terms of a playing field; think of who was on our teams, what our fields looked like – just a creative way to reflect. I have learned so much this year that putting it into words seems like a feat I do not know if I can accomplish, but here I go.
Over a year ago this May I arrived in Oakland, California to look at the potential site I will be serving, as I packed my bags this May I am leaving Tucson, Arizona. What? How did this even happen? Let’s go to the start. After a meticulous search for the perfect post-graduate program – Lasallian Volunteers won for me. Faith – Service – Community; all the things I was looking for in my service experience. I was so stoked to be doing this! When I arrived in California, I loved it.
So many hopes for the year – what will I accomplish, how will I change this place, how will this place change me. So many questions were stirring through my head. I was ready to go; ready to fully immerse myself in this program, in this community, in this site. My “playing field” was set and my team was full. But the big man upstairs had quite different plans for me – and it was a twisty road to say the least. You have to make do with what you are given, make the best out of a hard situation, and find your own way – but with LVs, staff members, coworkers, and alumni – it is clear I was not alone. But I have made it through. I followed the path he put out for me and now with tears in my eyes – I leave Tucson.
Being an LV has definitely changed my life in the positive. I have lived in 2 states (Arizona and California), 2 completely different cities (hello the desert and the Bay Area!) I have learned that being flexible in the work place, yet making sure your voice is heard and your needs and concerns are met is crucial. I have learned that one should not back down from a challenge (like being tossed in the air in CA and landing in AZ) because good things come out of it.
I have become a stronger, more mature person. I have developed a faith of my own. I have come to know the importance of social justice, especially in the United States. I have made lifelong friends. I have been impacted and inspired by my students. I know I can handle anything that comes my way because the support behind me that I have made this year.
Being a Lasallian Volunteer has changed me and I cannot wait to share that with the world.
Maggie Sanborn, 12-13, LEO Center, Oakland, CA & San Miguel HS, Tucson, AZ