Having attended Goucher College in Towson for four years, I managed to remain almost completely unaware of Baltimore, coming down only occasionally when I mustered up the courage and energy for what was sure to be a sizeable journey. It wasn’t until the second semester of my senior year that I began coming down to the city on a more frequent basis, yet even then I had a specific destination and almost never strayed from my course. And then I came to Greater Homewood.
Working here has been possibly the best introduction to Baltimore one could ask for as it has been an opportunity to meet a vast and diverse group of Baltimore resident’s who fight to make their city a better place. Whether they are the person coordinating the neighborhood association meetings every month and working to keep attendance levels on the rise, or they spend the majority of their free time volunteering at their neighborhood school. My time here has acquainted me with stories of individuals who come together to make change in their community, and given me a chance to help them achieve their goals.
A year ago I never would have thought that I would spend my time, energy, and concern helping parents pull a Parent/Teacher Association back together, or facilitating the growth of a fledgling community organization, and yet during a year as a VISTA at Greater Homewood I now hardly think twice about it. They have become normal features of a job that has been exceptionally fulfilling and engaging.
And now, with my time as a VISTA coming quickly to an end and the next phase of my life creeping closer and closer I find myself a little bit sad that my year is over, but more overwhelmed with a feeling of happiness that I was given an opportunity to see, learn about, and do so many things in a city that I now am proud to call home.
Image by Jaclyn Paul