One Year of Service

From NYLC team member Hannah Reece.

The bulk of my adult life I have spent gallivanting around the world. From college in Washington to climbing mountains in Norway, to dancing in Trinidad, to teaching in Thailand, my constant has been instability, as odd as that may sound. I have grown accustomed to the process of saying goodbye and starting anew.

So when I began my year of service as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow at NYLC last September, I approached it just as I had approached any other era of my life — with an expectation of temporariness. One year of service is what I was committing to, and I felt comfortable with that.

Throughout the year I experienced direct learning from the organization about service-learning, servant-leadership, curriculum development, facilitation skills, and event planning. More importantly, though, I learned indirectly from observing and interacting with my fellow NYLC team members. Through them, I learned invaluable lessons about teamwork, leadership styles, communication, and seeing challenge as opportunity.

NYLC is an organization that keeps its mission as the main focus: To create a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world with young people, their schools, and their communities through service-learning. Staff repeatedly evaluate whether the organization’s work is directed towards this mission, and refocuses if it is not. NYLC has an unbelievably strong commitment to creating a better world with youth.

It is for this reason that I have decided to accept a full-time position as NYLC’s Program and Training Coordinator. I have found, for the first time in my adult life, a stable family in my team members, as well as a deep rooted reason to stay put. The conscious choice to set aside my hare-footed lifestyle in order to further foster the relationships NYLC has helped me develop is sitting warm and comfortable in my chest, and I look forward to being a part of this organization’s growth and service moving forward.

Thank you to everyone who has helped make this year one of the most meaningful learning and growth experiences of my life.