It’s been an exciting year in Albany, NY. Some might say that’s the unlikeliest of places for excitement, but believe me on this. Working with our demographic at La Salle, anything is possible.
The beginning of this second service year hardly felt like a beginning at all. I think the word ‘continuation’ might be a better fit because that’s exactly what this term feels like. The apprehensive feelings from 12 months ago are no longer inside. Every activity we run is done with confidence. When we set up and wait for kids, the other staff members can sense us saying, “I’ve got this no problem.”
I believe this experience is all about a transition from unsettling inhibition to enthusiastic determination. This is where the healing takes place. In order to help others, I had to first help myself. Being able to stand firm and lead the lives of our boys in a positive direction is something that indeed takes time. Now that I’ve paid my dues, I feel as though this tremendous responsibility of helping these young men that has been placed on me is all in a day’s work.
Change is inevitable; everyone knows this. The people that dole out that advice sometimes neglect to tell you that change can be difficult, almost life threatening. But believe me, it’s the ones who realize that this change will better them that benefit the most. You can only change if you are willing to accept the help of others. And I believe that the volunteers, Brothers, and the kids I have served have helped me achieve that. Now I am fully confident that I can help others change; I just hope they let me!
Pat Blythe, 12-14, La Salle School, Albany, NY