On Monday, I arrived at The SPARK Center to find a letter on my desk from one of our preschoolers.
Good-bye….I love you forever! Thank you for all of your help.
This is a kid who has been through more trauma in his five little years than I hope to in my entire life. A kid I bonded with my first day here last summer, and who became my little buddy within a week; a kid who is likely stronger than me physically and emotionally, and in many instances smarter than me too.
On Tuesday, I spent my morning learning from our music therapist, Kim, about the incredible music she has been writing, producing and performing with the young adults in our TICKET Program. Kim taught us about Song Studio, a program that empowers young people with serious illnesses to envision positive futures, develop strong coping skills and share their experience through music. Music provides a culturally relevant, youth oriented, technique for young people to channel their emotions and cope with hardship.
On Wednesday, I volunteered with the TICKET kids at an organization that provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school and at play.
On Thursday, I reluctantly completed my year of national service as an AmeriCorps VISTA.
It is gratifying to reflect back on this year knowing that every single day, even my last four, was meaningful. Every day was a learning experience, and those experiences helped me to grow professionally and more importantly, personally. Last summer, I was a confused recent college graduate, with a very hazy view of what my future would look like. Now, I’m headed towards graduate school for my Masters in Public Health and a new job at Boston University, with a clear-cut plan of what’s to come.
Allow yourself the opportunity to experience something meaningful. How you define that meaning is up to you, but it should allow you to grow and learn, to gain a new perspective and a new outlook. It should shape you in a way that goes beyond the amount of money deposited into your bank account at the end of the week, and beyond any praise or recognition received.
As I offer you my last spark of inspiration- my advice is to do something that sparks your interests, your energy, your goals and most importantly your happiness.
Once a SPARKy, always a SPARKy.