Fighting Poverty with Passion
No beating around the bush. This is my last field report as a National Tulane VISTA. It feels good to be writing this and to see how much I have grown over the last year and in ways that I didn’t necessarily expect. I’ve learned about team work and professionalism. I’ve learned about being an active and proactive citizen. I’ve delved into learning firsthand about the degree to which race, ethnicity and culture affect each and every one of us on a personal, professional and societal level. And I’ve had the opportunity to make some wonderful connections and friendships that I won’t be able to forget and will most likely call upon after I leave this project at UROC.
Everyone always wants to know “what’s next?” I’ll humor your curiosity. This is a tough question for me to answer because I’ve completely, whole heartedly changed my answer three times since July. Right now (and for the last month) the idea is to apply to Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN and get my Masters in Children, Youth and Family Ministry with the end goal of finding a youth ministry position at a church in the Minneapolis area. Sounds easy enough until basic needs step into the picture (food, rent, health insurance, etc.) but I won’t bore you with that stuff. When we know the big picture, we can create the little picture. So that’s the stressful part of the last few weeks of service- getting to create the little picture of post-service. I’m confident that it will come together, though.
I’ve been thinking a lot about life choices and paths lately, so my final thought to share with you all is this: as we all come to forks in our life paths, we have to choose how and where to make our next path in order to move forward. It can be difficult and stressful to make these decisions (first-hand experience here). There can be pressure to choose the right path or the path that will make the most money or the path that will allow you to be the absolute best in the business. Someone recently told me that you know which path to choose when you point towards that path and your soul finds peace. Not necessarily that the path is peaceful but that your soul, the very core of your being, finds harmony and freedom with and supports following that path. That peace is what will sustain you in that work. So as we all journey forward in life, may we find and recognize the paths that give our souls peace and have the courage to pursue them relentlessly.
– Amanda Quiner, TNVNET AmeriCorps VISTA @ Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center