Anna, a 2010 Bethany graduate, works with AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism (Student Affairs) at the University of Maine, Orono.
WHAT YOU DO • • • As a VISTA employee, my job is to assist local communities in creating plans to combat financial and emotional poverty. I was hired as an AmeriCorps VISTA by the University of Maine to help administrate and coordinate programs through their volunteer center, the Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism. My job includes, but is not limited to, grant writing, planning service projects and afterschool programs for community schools, presenting workshops on leadership and volunteering, developing partnerships with key members in the community, and taking classes to continue my education.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU • • • My job allows me to help others and see others help each other every day. The amount of altruism that UMaine and the Bangor-Orono communities show is quite inspiring, and it continues to inspire my desire to serve others.
HOW YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE • • • I hope to make a difference by continuing to faithfully serve others with God’s help and direction. Life is unpredictable and uncertain, especially in our present economic situation. Therefore, I am willing to make a difference wherever God puts me, whether that means making a difference at a macro or micro level.
HOW BETHANY HAS PREPARED YOU • • • Bethany has prepared me for this job and my life in various ways. First, my job requires strong writing and critical thinking skills, which my English major helped me to develop. Bethany’s English department and professors helped me to grow significantly as a writer and as a thinker. Also, My secondary education licensure has helped me to develop after-school programs that run on structure, procedures, and creative ways for children to learn. Finally, my theater minor has helped me to gain confidence and articulate myself well to others.
WHAT YOU REMEMBER MOST • • • My fondest memories of Bethany were with the theater department: the jokes and camaraderie among cast and crew members, the anxious minutes before a performance, the exhilarating moments of acting on stage, and the applause of an audience. The Bethany theater experience was the best time of my life, and it is where I made my strongest friendships and met my husband.
ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS • • • Take chances. Don’t fear failure, but learn from it. Don’t quit, but persevere. Take a class for fun and because you’re interested in expanding your knowledge, not just to meet all the requirements for your major. Volunteer in the community and travel. Supplement coursework with experiences outside of a book or classroom. Make the most of your time and appreciate your Christian education while at Bethany Lutheran College.