Where has the time gone?
In the last few weeks, my time as a VISTA at Alma College has been incredible—and incredibly busy! And now that I have a moment to breathe and reflect, I have learned a lot about myself.
In the last month I have helped coordinate a number of events including: a charity dodgeball tournament, College Goal Sunday, The Vagina Monologues, college visits for 7th grade students, Kids’ Night Out, Diversity Dialogues, Diversity Movie Nights, and the drag show by Esme’s Traveling Gender Show at Alma College. It has been a wild range of different events on campus and in the community to address different social issues and empower all to be the most successful person that they can be. By far my favorite events have been when I have partnered with Diversity and Inclusion to address critical social issues that act as barriers for why a person may not attend or complete higher education.
Throughout my year and a half of a VISTA, I have learned that more than just financial and academic reasons can hold a person from pursuing higher education. Personal struggles of identity, lack of emotional support, trauma and a number of other reasons can be a major barrier for any person; on top of academic readiness and financial support. It is when I am able to partner with Alma College’s Diversity and Inclusion to prepare events to empower all individuals that they do have a place in higher education I feel like I am making my strongest impact.
To recap my most recent event I was at, this past Saturday, I was serving at my last Kids’ Night Out event; Kids’ Night Out is a lock in event for 2-6th grade youth to interact with college volunteers and their peers in a safe environment. I always enjoy this venue to serve my community because it allows me the opportunity to connect with youth students and to encourage them to follow their dreams and to overcome any obstacle. We had over 180 youth students attend Kids’ Night Out and now I would like to share with you some of the conversation pieces:
When asked what do they want to be when they are older?
The reason I asked these two questions, is because I never believe it is too early for youth to think about their future and to take pride in their uniqueness. Over the three hours at this event, I lost count of the number of students who visited my station, because I was in awe of the sheer excitement some of the youth students had when they answered my questions. It was such a great night talking about goals, individuality and how to channel individual talents to be successful in life; something I try to incorporate in every event I am a part of.
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!