By Laura Youngblood, FC 22
For someone who loves to plan and make sure everything is planned down to the tiniest details, my entrance into FrancisCorps was anything but. During my junior year of college, one of the campus ministers of our UNC- Chapel Hill Newman Center suggested that I meet with “the director of this gap year program I could see you being interested in”.
So, I sat down with A.J. and I was introduced to FrancisCorps. I knew I wanted to take a gap year, and I played with the idea in my mind until my senior year when A.J. came to visit UNC again. This time, our talk ended with us filling out my initial application together. I definitely was not expecting that outcome to the day, but I never felt anxious or worried by my pushing through the application so early on in my senior year.
Things just kept falling into place after that. I talked over Skype with A.J. and Friar Rick, and I knew that these were my kind of people. For once in my life, I wasn’t nervous about an interview. Looking back, I think the reason I was drawn to FC was because its mission and structure clashed so directly with the academic culture I had immersed myself in for my entire life. FC was an opportunity for me to not stress about what I want to do with my life, but rather give myself over to deepening my spirituality and letting God take over my life finally.
FC drew me in because it seemed peaceful and like an opportunity for rest. Living in it now, I know there are moments of rest but so many more moments of life: of vibrant living. I love my housemates—my community. I look forward to stepping outside myself and continuing to master the arts of compassion and compromise.
Every Friday night when it is my turn to cook for our little community, I get a small wave of anxiety at the task of preparing a good dinner that everyone will enjoy. Never have I had to cook for such a large group, and the thought of multitasking gives me a headache. However, living here in our yellow house has shown me that I don’t even need ask for help— in the kitchen, at work, and in my own personal struggles. The thing that excites me most about my FrancisCorps experience is that of the love that I feel now from our Franciscan community and the love that I know I have to look forward to in the future of my time in Syracuse.
Laura is a Support Worker at Francis House. Visit our service sites page to learn more about Laura’s site and others we offer.