WSC member Tammy serving with Second Harvest Food Bank in Spokane

My name is Tammy. I am a WSC/AmeriCorps member with 2nd Harvest Food Bank in Spokane, WA. My title is Nutrition Educator, but that distinction only covers a small part of the tasks I have completed over the last nine months. When I started, I knew the basics of the basics about nutrition and had never heard the words “food insecurity” before or how many people in my community, and surrounding areas these words affected.

There’s been highs and lows; moments I’ve wondered what I have gotten myself into, and other moments I felt like I was exactly where I belonged. I am a big believer in life-long learning and that none of us fully arrive as a person until we can (1) be honest with ourselves (about who we are) and with others also (2) we realize we are the person we want to be, doing what we are supposed to be doing, with the people we are supposed to be doing it with and, (3) living our lives to make every day count.

No, I am not there yet but that is what I strive for and this journey with WSC has helped me get closer to it. So close, in fact, that I am doing another year, in the same place, in almost the same position. I can see myself developing professional maturity, learning to be more open with my co-workers and communicate effectively, and building insight into who I am and what I want to do for the next 17 years.

Recently, I was in the small town of Republic, WA for a Mobile Market with our food truck. I had the pleasure of meeting James, who is a WRC member. He said he was a tutor in one of the schools in Republic, he loved what he was doing, and he planned on serving another year also. We had the same AmeriCorps shirts on. We started laughing.

It is great seeing what we can do for our communities and the impact we are making by the end of our term but what is also wonderful is how serving changes you and propels you to places, people, and career opportunities you never figured would give you joy and a purpose.