It is an arduous process to decide what path to follow for the rest of your life. I used my experience of going to Misericordia University, a Sisters of Mercy school, to decide on a year of service with Mercy Volunteer Corps. My passion for serving others grew through service trips abroad, as well as many domestic services in the community around the university. After graduating, I was hesitant as to which direction to head towards and many options were viable interests for me. Deciding to do a year of service with Mercy Volunteer Corps was a chance to experience many things that life has to offer.
Now that it is a month into my year of service, I can tell it has been the best decision for my well-being. The service site I am volunteering at this year is called FOCUS Pittsburgh. This site has offered me a wealth of experience, as well as support for my personal development, working within the community. The organization is located in the hill district of Pittsburgh, which is composed primarily of African Americans. I have learned that this district has a rich history that includes great potential today, but the stigma of the area overshadows the positives. Being a Caucasian male has made me stand out in this community, but justice should be color blind. I am looking forward to living in solidarity with the people of this community and my site allows me to do this successfully.
FOCUS Pittsburgh offers many opportunities for those in the community to acquire aid. These resources include: a health clinic that is capable of administering free health care and dentistry; a food pantry as well as meals provided during the day; free clothing; emergency funding; and many projects involving the progress of the community. All of these resources expose me to a myriad of experiences that will help me grow as a person. The site supervisors are very supportive and are committed to the experience that I will have over the next year. I hope to experience much personal growth that will guide me towards my next adventure in life after this year; however, I am trying to concentrate on the present by getting out as much as I can from this opportunity to be in the great city of Pittsburgh.
Conor Brennan: Pittsburgh, Pa