Bernice, my supervisor at the food bank, brought in a cake and card for a going away party, and fellow VISTA Amy brought Snickers ice cream bars, aww! Thanks guys!
Then all us VISTA girls went to Tony Packos for a working lunch/good-bye meal.
Mmmm Packo's Chili Mac
The end is bittersweet.
This year has been amazing. When I quit my job to move across the country and do a year of service, most people thought I was nuts. Even I wondered sometimes.
But while I miss the job I left (and occasionally its salary, even though it wasn't huge...) and I woke up with a scary little knot in my stomach this morning over not knowing what comes next, I have no regrets about joining Americorps.
Besides greatly improved public speaking skills and event planning, marketing, outreach and public relations experience, I have gained a much greater understanding of the issues of poverty and, perhaps more invaluably, have been able to personalize those issues with real stories and real faces.
It has also been a joy working alongside people whose idealism, community service, passion and compassion are as strong as my own.
I came from a career in journalism; this year made me comtemplate a career in social work. Either way, I can honestly say that my outlook in life, no matter what I end up doing next, will be informed by what I have learned and experienced this year.
I'm excited to move on to new challenges and satisfied with everything I've learned and done this year.
I taught 35 Ohio Benefit Bank counselor trainings, training a total of 174 people; planned five regional events; worked 11 tax clinics; helped 29 people file their taxes for free; filed 31 applications for other benefits; gave 87 presentations; and helped usher at least 20 community agencies into new OBB site-hood.
And now I'm unemployed. Eeks!
This was what our desks looked like on my last day.
Not because I was leaving, but because the carpet happened to have been cleaned and everything was uprooted.
Saying goodbye to Michelle. For most of the year, our desks were squished into Michelle's tiny front office. When we were moved to another part of the food bank, we missed her company but not the outside-regulated office temps (cold in winter, hot in summer) :)
Bye girls! I'll miss working with you!
Plus, a big thanks to everyone who read this blog over the past year! You rock. Stay tuned for what's next...even I don't know :)