To say my last few months serving with Mercy Volunteer Corp (MVC) have been enlightening would be an understatement. This year I chose to spend a year serving in Northern Arizona on the Navajo Reservation through MVC. I serve at a school for students with special needs and I work in a classroom with six students. When I first started this program, I thought I would go in and use the information I learned throughout college. Instead, I’ve ended up learning lessons from my students I never learned in college. Here are just a few:
- DON’T take everything so seriously.
- One of my students finds everything absolutely hilarious, even if she falls down she is always laughing. She has taught me to not take everything so seriously and to enjoy what I’m doing.
- DO be present with the people around you.
- Another student I have is one of the most caring people I have ever met. Whenever someone walks in the room she is always right there ready to greet them with a smile. She will then try and hold your hand and stay with you for as long as you will let her. She becomes so focused on one person and she reminds me how important it is to be present with the people you’re with.
- DO take time to enjoy the little things.
- My youngest student finds joy in all of the small things like smelling flowers and going for a walk. This student reminds me to slow down and find joy even in the small things.
Choosing to spend my year serving with Mercy Volunteer Corps has allowed me to learn from and build relationships with an amazing group of students and community members. The lessons I have learned here I will always carry with me.
Victoria Rodriguez: St. Michaels Navajo Reservation, Arizona