Declaring my minor in special education just a few months ago was probably one of the best decisions I've made since becoming a college student two years ago. Every single class that I took furthered my interest even more in this area of education with so many layers that I never even knew existed. As a requirement for my minor, I had to take a class titled "Service Learning" which I didn't think much of, to begin with, but grew to adore overtime. This class challenged me to find a community need in Tucson to attend to and volunteer for the semester.
While researching different non-profit organizations I came across two that caught my eye immediately. The first one was (NAMI), The National Alliance on Mental Illness and the second one was Tu Nidito for children and families dealing with bereavement and serious illness. At The National Alliance on Mental Illness, I ran a hotline to answer phone calls for people in desperate need of advocates or groups to attend. That volunteering experience truly made me realize the importance of a community need and why we all need to be active in whatever community we reside in.
After finishing up my time at NAMI, I became a part of Tu Nidito, an organization that assists families and children with grieving or serious illness. This volunteer experience started out as something temporary which shortly became permanent. Being able to speak to children who are hurting at such a young age could be extremely difficult, but seeing how they express themselves and find comfort in speaking with someone just a little bit older is such a rewarding feeling.
Last summer I took an internship with a company that treated me as if I was part of their tight-knit family which was the best feeling. We were able to excel in assisting non-profit organizations with starting up and getting funding from different types of sponsors in the community. As a marketing and social media intern, I was able to see the growth within our own company as well as the individual non-profits that would come to us for assistance. It was unbelievable to step into their organizations and be a part of something much bigger than myself.
If you asked me a year ago today, I would have never expected to be in the position that I'm in right now. This unbelievable world of growth and dedication never even crossed my mind as a first semester sophomore in college. It wasn't until I realized that every community has a need that it became so much clearer to me this would be a decision that would change my life, and it did. No matter where I end up across the globe, I will always be involved with an organization that serves a community. It's difficult to remember a day that I didn't know about non-profits or how important they are to keep the world around us together.
"You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."
- John Bunyan