Field Report: ARISE Academy
I’ve been a VISTA for 6 months!
Ok folks, it has been six months and I can truly say that I am happy to have made it this far. There were times that I came very, very VERY close to chucking the deuces, but I thought to myself: “Self, you’re a HODGE and The HODGE’s don’t quit.” So after my 10 seconds of decisions to throw in the towel passed, I went back to truly enjoying every moment of being an EDVISTA at one of the coolest schools in New Orleans: ARISE Academy.
Over these past few months I have learned a few things about myself and VISTA life in general. Check out my list below. As you read through the list, allow it to marinate in your spirit. J Enjoy!
What I Have Learned Over the Last Six Months!
- Smile through it all
- Even if you are having one of the worst days in your life, smile. With the population we are encountering, it is important to remember that that smile you give could be that glimmer of hope that they need to get through their day.
- Free food is not always bad
- Someone once told me that free food is normally terrible, however I truly beg to differ. I have had some of the best food in New Orleans and it has been free! Check out my friends at Handsome Willy’s http://www.handsomewillys.com/hw/.
- Stay focused on the mission of your organization
- Though sometimes you may run into a dead-end with projects and leaders, always remember the mission and the sheer reason you are there.
- Personal reflection time is essential
- Always take time for yourself. Even if you have to take a day off from work remember that your personal health and well-being comes first.
- This year is truly what you make it
- If you do not take advantage of the opportunities given, you have no right to complain.
- Networking is essential
- While it is about who you know in this life, networking allows you to build lasting relationships with a variety of individuals.
- Make friends outside of VISTA
- While your VISTA friends are nice to have, it is always good to diversify your group of friends.
- Mardi Gras is……. Everything
- This was of course my first Mardi Gras and I do believe there were times throughout that my emotions went from ecstatic to frustrated. At any rate I would do it all over again, thank God it is only once a year!!
I hope you enjoyed my tadbits of life as a VISTA.
-Malliron Hodge, Tulane CPS AmeriCorps VISTA, ARISE Academy