Welcome to my blog. If you’re reading now, you’ve clicked the link and I am grateful. This will be a place for me for me update you on my goings-on and shenanigans as I prepare to spend the next year serving as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) for Presbyterian Church (USA) [PC(USA)] this upcoming fall in Glasgow, Scotland! I’m super excited to have this amazing opportunity to not only explore my faith and what being a Christian means to me, but to be able to use my talents and time to serve and give back.
SO WHAT’S THE DEAL?
Having the opportunity to serve my community is something that’s kind of always been on my radar. I believe that with privilege comes great power and responsibility. I am now a member of the “educated 1/3” (over 30% of American adults hold bachelor’s degrees). One of the highest indicators of a person attaining higher education is at least one of their parent’s also having a degree. That’s definitely the case for me. Having highly educated parents in high-skill jobs has afforded me a very comfortable life that has taken me not only across this great country, but across the sea. Though a land of immigrants, America can be a tough landscape for immigrants to find footing. We’ve been super blessed. We’ve always lived in safe, affluent neighborhoods with safe and well-funded schools. Even though my university experience wasn’t as smooth as I would have preferred, I made it.
To me, the YAV program is an opportunity for young people to have an active part in the life of the church. So much change happens during one’s transition from childhood to adulthood. In our ever-changing world, there are not so many options, or even incentives for young people to take time away from school, working or starting families to be given the space to think about what role the church and spirituality will play in their lives. The YAV program is a place for young people to not only do that, but to be immersed with a community of others who are also going through the same process.
I’m actually super nervous about blogging. Words are a physical manifestation of thoughts and feelings. Sharing these with people, even those that I am most close with, isn’t something that comes very easily to me. Writing is easy for me. Academic writing is A PIECE OF CAKE (I may or may not have draft of this blog in a APA-type situation with formatted headings and citations that will become hyperlinks…) and I journal as regularly as possible. So this is sort of a learning curve for me, and definitely out of my comfort zone. This is a different type of writing, definitely the kind of writing and sharing that gave me some issues in my upper division counseling courses. So, I’m hoping this is easy reading. Your feedback will be MUCH appreciated.
Alongside your prayers, (and reading my blog), one of the ways you can support me is my assisting in my fundraising efforts. Through the gifts of many and things such as the PC(USA) Pentecost Offering, much of the costs associated with funding YAVS for a year are taken care of. It costs between $21,000-29,000 to fund a full year per YAV. Each YAV is expected to raise a small portion of the costs of their year. As a YAV serving internationally, I am required to raise $4,000 between now and January 1st of next year, with a benchmark date of July 1st of this year to raise half of that amount.
One of the most essential parts of this whole journey is that I am not on it alone. Not only am I entering into this amazing community of like-minded young people but I have you all. This is an investment in me. One that I wouldn’t ask people to make in me, if I wasn’t willing to make it in myself. Not only will I be adding to my own fundraising pot, but I’m dedicating a year of my life to service and personal and spiritual growth.
All contributions are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE. You can give online here. Or checks can be sent to the address below. Include in the memo line of the check, my name and Extra Commitment Opportunity (ECO#) number E210105. Please make checks out to PC(USA).
Presbyterian Church (USA)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburg, PA 15264-370
The great music philosopher Khaled “DJ Khaled” Khaled wisely says, “it costs money to eat.” His words on so many matters of the universe ring true, this I think is definitely one of them!
Well, I have less than 3 months before I embark upon my YAV journey, and lots of you all have inquired about how I will be spending this time.
I plan on spending as much time as possible in my beautiful state of Texas. I’ve been working at UNT’s Autism Center for over a year and a half and that’s where I am right now. I get to work with the best kiddos and young people ever. Working with this special population had been s rewarding. Not only have I learned so much about ASDs but I’ve learned so much about myself and what being in a clinical setting looks like for me.
Working locally, I hoping will give me time to spend with my loved ones and friends. I’ll have a decent amount of time to pack, prepare (mostly clean my room), and relax before this journey that I’m about to embark on.
I’ll also be preparing to take both the GRE and the GMAT entrance exams for various graduate programs. I’m hoping that after my year away, I’ll continue my education in labor relations/human resources or Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology.
POST YAV YEAR…
Umm, I honestly have no idea. Nothing is set in stone yet. Like I said, I’m shooting for graduate school. During my year I’ll be applying to various programs, spanning this great nation and maybe even some international programs. I’m also entertaining the idea of entering the workforce full-time in some human resources capacity. During my last year of school, I stumbled upon the wonderful of HR. I’m very passionate about this field so I’m super open to exploring it some more, whether that means becoming a practitioner or continuing my education (or maybe both!).
LET THE MUSIC PLAY ON
Okay, so here’s playlist #1. Add I’m including a Spotify and an iTunes playlist link. Not gonna lie, this selection is a little more young-people flavored. I believe all of the songs except 2 have explicit content. That being said, this is my welcome to summer mix. Some of the tunes I’m jamming to right now, a few throw-backs, and even a couple of new-era gospel tracks!! So, just shuffle and enjoy!