I will get things done for America to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier.
I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities.
Faced with apathy, I will take action.
Faced with conflict, I will seek common ground.
Faced with adversity, I will persevere.
I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond.
I am an an Americorps member and I will get things done for America.
This is the pledge I took when I became an Americorps VISTA and began serving as the Coordinator for Student & Community Engagement at the College. Honestly, I think this pledge absolutely rocks! While it’s got broad language about being safer, smarter, and healthier, it returns to something that feels so tangible: getting things done.
As I read the pledge for the first time and I continue to live it out through my service as an Americorps, I am reminded that much of my ability to fulfill those words comes from the experience and inspiration I gained from my undergraduate years at William & Mary.
If you allow it, William & Mary is a demanding institution. There is so much to learn, do, join, create, question, and contribute to here that one’s Google calendar can quickly become swamped. Learning to meet the demands of William and Mary, however, is what prepared me for the demands of being an Americorps member.
At William and Mary I learned what it is to learn. I learned inside classrooms from incredible lectures and discussions that still keep me thirsty for more knowledge. I learned outside the classroom from conversations, events, friends, and strangers who brought new perspectives and ideas into my consciousness.
At William and Mary I learned to listen. From the very first day in my freshmen hall, surrounded by 70 new voices with their own stories to tell, to the last goodbyes of graduation when official speakers and friends alike were trying to impart one last bit of wisdom into my life, I have listened to the Tribe family. Listening brought so many new stories and shared experiences into my life, and listening is one of the skills I rely on most in my work.
At William and Mary I learned to overcome challenges; whether that was having no understanding of Astronomy, fighting with Banner, facing rejection, or the very real struggles of just growing up through my four years here. I developed problem solving skills, gained a support system of faculty, staff and friends, and found so much strength within myself to succeed.
These lessons and many more are why each time I read my Americorps pledge, I am certain William and Mary is so much of why I can live up to it.