“So, what do you do, Brent?”
Over the last year, I have had a lot of friends and relatives ask me about my work and I was never exactly sure what to tell them. My position title “Outreach Alumni Mentor for Marketing & Development,” while a mouthful, doesn’t exactly tell you much. I could give them the elevator speech I have honed through countless job fairs and hiring events but even that doesn’t do it justice. I could point them to our mission statement, “help[ing] youth make a difference in themselves and their community through meaningful service opportunities and educational experiences” but to me, it’s more than that.
My two terms of service with Mile High Youth Corps encompass more to me than a few words could describe. I could tell you that my service has changed me but I couldn’t even begin to count the ways. I could fill a book with the lessons I’ve learned but I could fill a library with what MHYC has left to teach me. I could count up the hours of service I have volunteered to my adopted Denver community(2,375 to be exact), but that wouldn’t show you the impact the last 17 months have made on my life.
In my time here, I have been fortunate enough to share some amazing experiences with my fellow Corpsmembers. I have helped build a trail at Red Rocks Amphitheater that will be used by literally millions of concert-goers, I have helped Denver save hundreds of millions of gallons of water each year, and I have brought an elderly resident to tears of joy with the simple act of changing a light bulb. Throughout all of this, I have been learning; I have been watching and listening, growing and changing.
I began my service right out of college: excited for a new challenge, a new locale, and new friendships. I was scared and anxious but I had never been more motivated. Now I am at the end of my term with MHYC and the best way I can think to describe myself is “ready.” I’m ready for the next challenge, ready for the next opportunity to help my community, ready for a lifetime of service. When I left home, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life but after serving for the last 17 months, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
So now, when my family and friends ask me what I do, I have an answer:
I serve. I give back in the best way I know how. I mentor, I lead, I build and I pour blood, sweat, and tears into each and every project. I help those who cannot help themselves and I love every single second of it. That is what I do and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
I am eternally grateful to the staff and Corpsmembers here at MHYC for everything they have given me over the last year and a half. I will never forget the memories and bonds I have created and I will always look back on my service with a smile. You are never quite ready to leave a place you love, but it’s time for me to move forward onto the next adventure. I’ll leave you with a quote that has inspired me throughout my term and perhaps it could help you find your purpose too:
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Thank you for everything, from the bottom of my heart.
Outreach Alumni Mentor, 2012