If I had been asked in the first half of my very first summer here if I would ever think of coming back to work at MHYC again, I’m not entirely sure what my answer would have been. As a friend and fellow ’09 CM, Chris, once said, “This is the hardest job I ever loved.” And I think that is the best way to sum up my work here at MHYC. I was blown away when I started here, it was the first time that I ever had to do real, hard labor for ten hours a day and then as I moved to the office I had to negotiate between phone calls, copy machines, emails, and various paperwork every day. Each of these summers has been a totally new and totally different experience for me. But it was a chance that I have grown to take full advantage of and really appreciate all that it has brought to my life.
This is the final week of my third summer here at MHYC, and as I sit here and reflect on the various summers and what I have gained from working here one thing stands out—my growth, both personal and professional.
As much as I have tried to contribute to MHYC, I think that I will leave here having gained so much more than I was ever able to give. For three summers now I have given my time, my energy, my hard work, my perseverance and my laughter. And the past two summers, I have spent long days orienting new CMs, sorting through piles and piles of paperwork, travelling from crew to crew to offer support in any way I could, hiring and recruiting new members to MHYC for all our programs, and helping crews get out of the door in the mornings as efficiently as possible. Yet despite all of this, I think that when I remember my times here at MHYC it will be all of the things that I have gained that I will remember most fondly: the friendships that I created that will continue for years to come, the dance parties in the vans to and from project sites, the courage to be myself, the support from all of the staff members no matter the endeavor, the knowledge about the environment, nonprofits, and life in general, the importance of loving and having passion for what you do, and most importantly how it is the little things that you do every day that are the most important when it comes to making a difference.
I like to think that I grew into the person I want to be because of my work at MHYC. I was pushed and challenged in so many different ways and situations that I now have professional skills that will help me for the rest of my life, and I personally have learned so much about myself, who I am as a citizen of this world as well as how I see the world and what I can do to change it.
I would also like to offer my sincerest gratitude to all of the staff here at MHYC, whom I believe have been the extremely influential when it comes to the great experience that I have had.
~Roni, Summer of Service Super Corpsmember!