In honor of AmeriCorps Week, today we continue a multi-part series entitled “The Navigator’s Log,” created by LaRhonda Boone, an AmeriCorps VISTA serving with Jersey Cares’ ServiceWorks program in Newark, NJ. ServiceWorks helps youth ages 16-24 to develop workplace skills through specialized training and to gain leadership experience by designing and implementing community service projects. You can learn more about ServiceWorks here. Service Works
Every volunteer’s story is unique, and while LaRhonda’s story, which is still being written, is her own, she provides us with insight into what it is, can be – and at times hopefully won’t often be – to be a volunteer.
Navigator’s Log Lovedate 309.2-15.9.41A
By: LaRhonda Boone, AmeriCorps VISTA
Prosper. That was his name. I met him at our recent National Day of Service and he is the Service Scholar of one of our crew (VISTA) who works at another site within our borders. There were other Service Scholars there but I remember him, his name. He was typical in many ways for someone his age – silly (borderline goofy), comical (hilarious actually), and a hard worker (or hardly working) and yet, in some ways he served as a bit of an adhesive.
A quip or gesture here, a funny expression or impersonation there, was often enough to keep his fellow Scholars entertained and engaged while working. Their camaraderie was evident and it reminded me of a team, of how it can be, how it should be. Each fit of laughter, every raised voice or discussion about some commonality (like holding a bag of leaves and pulling weeds) were ultimately sealing a bond that will come in handy as they move forward.
No doubt they didn’t see it or understand it then and may never, but I did, and it made me smile. I smiled for our crew because they are truly ServiceWorking it and I was happy for myself because despite not having Scholars yet, I caught a glimpse of what is to come. Here for a moment and gone the next? Perhaps, but even that is ok. Prosper. Love long and.