As I am approaching the end of my service year, I can’t help but to reflect over the past year. I entered the Corps, not realizing the volumes I would learn both about myself and public health. On the application, there was a question that we had to answer and elaborate on whether we agree or disagree. It was about service and the impact it has on the population being served as well as the person performing the service. Of course, I agreed that service impacts both the giver and the receiver, but I had no idea the extent to which that was true. My year of service has been filled with moments of crying, smiling, laughing, doubting, encouraging, and many more. But, through it all, I have learned so much. My service changed me and my outlook on life. Yes, for some, life is what you make it; but, for others, the life given to them is all they know.
I attended a summit a few days ago on HIV/ AIDS awareness. I realized sitting in this large auditorium-sized room, that I am not the same woman I was last year. I listened to individuals who had a genuine passion to serve the community and I thought about what I really want to do with my life going forward. “In the end, you will only be remembered and recognized for what you did for others, not what you did for yourself.” (Reverend Al Sharpton) Upon hearing this quote, I realized exactly how important service is to me. “Saving the world,” the phrase you will often hear thrown around the service community, is what service is all about and it starts with me. Making a choice to serve people was not hard for me to do, and serving people has become even easier. It’s the most fulfilling feeling, I have ever felt in my life and it has given me purpose.
I serve because they matter… I serve because you matter… I serve because I matter. And that’s enough reason for me!