Submitted by WSC AmeriCorps alum Madison Baril, who served with Federal Way Public Schools 2015-16.
I want to start by saying that this year has meant so much to me. The connections I’ve made this year have been monumental in my life. I have laughed, cried, and lived fully more in this year than I ever have in the entirety of my life. I have lived with a purpose, and that purpose has been serving. I’ve served students as a mentor, an academic tutor, and a friend. I have been a support for families and for teachers. I have planted trees, literally and metaphorically. My trees have not grown much, and some are only healing and nourishing themselves, but I am so proud of the growth I have seen, and the growth that will come in the future.
I have been in the lives of several hundred students, and each one has touched my life in the same way I came to [AmeriCorps] hoping to affect them. I can genuinely say, beyond any doubt, that each student I worked with this year has changed for the better…I, too, have changed for the better. Their test scores have gone up, but more than that, they have learned to care for the people who work to make their schooling easier. I have come to see how small acts of love and compassion can multiply in a beautiful and unexplainable way. The people I’ve served have given to me, with intangible gifts, more than I ever could have asked. In return, I have fully given myself to serving this community. I have given my time and my skill. I’ve also given my heart and my life’s passion. Each day, I pour myself into the students I serve, and then they pour into me, simply by appreciating my service.
I am so thankful for the life this [position] has given me, as well as the outlook I’ve attained in the last 10.5 months. The new outlook I have is something I value beyond words.