Planting the Seed

Photo of Chloe Alviz for her first reflection.

My interest in a year of service was planted in the spring of my junior year when recruiters for a post graduate service program visited UCLA’s Catholic Center and joined us for our Thursday student dinner. As I listened to the recruiters share their experiences serving the poor and living in a simple, faith-grounded home, I began to picture myself doing the same work. It seemed like the right path especially since I wanted to pursue a greater role in service after graduation.

Later that summer, I tried starting my graduate school applications, but I couldn’t shake off that desire to serve. Applying for graduate school also felt like a rushed process and I knew that I needed to take a break from studying. I explored many organizations but I didn’t feel that “click” until I came across FrancisCorps. A.J., Jenny Rose, and Friar Nader sold me on the organization’s tight knit community and strong faith foundation. At first, I felt uncertain about my decision to accept my offer, as committing to this program meant that I’d be leaving my beloved California and starting from scratch in a cold, unfamiliar place. However, I also knew that God was calling me to trust in Him and allow myself to grow through the fear and uncertainty.

In the past three months of being in Syracuse, I’ve grown in so many ways. At Emergency Services, I’ve worked with many at-risk and homeless clients to secure resources. It’s been a humbling experience to accompany them on their journeys—even if all I can do is listen and be present with them. At home, I’ve learned to be present and to cherish all of the moments with my seven amazing community mates. I can’t wait to see how I continue to grow during the rest of my time here!

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