1,000 Thank you’s

It’s unfortunately arrived. The last day of our amazing intersession experience. I’m feeling some bitter-sweetness about this moment, actually. I’m glad the fresh new semester will be starting up in a few days, but I’m sorry we didn’t get a chance to do even more service opportunities with our immersion. However, the small taste of service I got this week has definitely inspired me to keep the ball rolling.

Waking up today, the entire class met back in Reeves lodge to talk about final thoughts about our experiences from yesterday. Then, we were able to speak with a panel of some of Central Florida’s most influential non-profit leaders; The President of the Coalition for the Homeless, the Vice President of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orlando, and a prestigious politician from Seminole County is also a professor of communications courses at the Holt school at Rollins. They were there to answer any questions we might have still had after our immersion, and I learned a lot from their insigthful answers. I’m really glad we got the chance to talk to them.

After the panel, we were all given the instructions for mapping out our action plans. What is an action plan, you ask? It’s a plan for what you aim to accomplish with service and volunteer work on a personal, group, and community level. Our entire group worked together on it, to come up with individualized goals, which I personally hope to achieve by the end of next semester, and then combined our interests to set group goals that we hope to accomplish before the end of our four years at Rollins. After a bunch of brainstorming, we were able to pull together an interactive prezi (a word that got Kate upset, since she felt like she was getting a present every time she heard the word, then would get let down) that summarized what we aimed to do.

This was my personal goal:

After embarking on this amazing experience, I hope to use the knowledge I’ve accumulated over this immersion to volunteer more of my time to service projects held by Rollins, as well as to start making the effort to begin service opportunities that are most important to me. As a biochemistry major, I am very passionate about healthcare for the needy, so I would like to find a clinic that offers services and check-ups for the needy that I could volunteer for. I am also going to make a conscious effort to raise awareness about the ideas of poverty and homelessness in the minds of my family, friends, and peers.

When we finished working on our homes with Habitat for Humanity, Tom the contractor gave us all our paychecks: a check made out to us for 1,000 Thank you’s. While I originally planned on putting them all in my savings, I think I’d rather give a few away to some people that absolutely deserve them This journey has been one I will never, and I mean NEVER, forget. I would just like to whole-heartedly thank Dr. Cavenaugh, Jerrid, and Meredith, along with the contractors at the Habitat for Humanity site, Alan and the homeless individuals who shared their stories, Jenn and the volunteers at the Coalition for the Homeless, and the guests who spoke with us on the panel. Thank you for allowing me to go on this journey, and helping me learn so much about my ideas of service, my community, and myself. And finally, thank you to everyone following this blog. Hopefully you enjoyed taking the journey with me.

— Katia

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About kchadaideh

Hello! My name is Katia, and I'm a freshman at Rollins College. I'm originally from Winter Park, Florida, so Rollins is really not a far stretch from home for me! I'm currently majoring in biochemistry, and some of my hobbies include reading, hiking, and swimming. I'm extremely excited to be participating in this Habitat for Humanity intersession, and I hope you all enjoy getting my take on the experience!

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