The end of our AmeriCorps NCCC year is upon us. There is a lot of paperwork that needs to be done and we are awaiting our graduation ceremony on Tuesday. It’s hard to believe that just 10 months ago we were boarding planes not knowing what the year had in store for us. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience. The goals we shared coming in were to travel, meet new people, and help as many people as we could. Water Four accomplished that with flying colors.
Looking back at the experience, a few things come to mind. I can’t help but think about the communities that the team supported with our efforts. We built houses for Hurricane Katrina survivors, we were mentors for children, we built trails for people to enjoy, and we helped others get $1,000s from tax returns. We learned many valuable skills, but what we will take away most are the smiles we put on those we served. The experiences were different for each project but the most important thing was that we had a blast making a lasting impact on those communities.
Our team was very lucky to be a part of this blog and the NBC documentary, which is expected to air sometime this fall. It may have changed our experience a little because of the cameras that followed us during our first spike project. However, we understand the impact that sharing our experience with the public in that way will have on AmeriCorps NCCC and on others interested in serving. Service to our country is on the rise and it comes at a crucial time. The need for people to step up and lend a hand is urgent. AmeriCorps is a prime example of that need. Because of the Serve America Act, the amount of people able to serve through NCCC may increase in the coming years. Also, other AmeriCorps programs have already added thousands of new opportunities to help communities in need.
We are blessed to live in this great country. What makes it great are those who have served before us. That is why everyone should serve whether it’s at home or abroad. There are many ways to serve but sometimes we find an excuse not to. Everyone has the ability, so it is not a question of 'can I,' but 'will I?' Our team is a great example of that, since we didn’t have all the specific skills we needed going into each of our projects. However, we were able to succeed and overcome that with our strong determination to learn the skills we needed to help others.
In the end we are all separate: our stories, no matter how similar, come to a fork and diverge. We were drawn to each other because of similarities, but it was our differences that ultimately made us a great team. The greatest lesson from this year is that it doesn't matter what your age, gender, race, or political views are because we all share the common goal of Getting Things Done! We thank you for reading and stay tuned for our video goodbye.
- Jeremy and Water Four
PS: Don't forget to watch for Water Four’s documentary on NBC coming soon...