August 9, 2019

As my AmeriCorps service year nears its end, I try to piece together all the new ideas and skills that I’ve learned and package them into just a few sentences. How do you compact a whole year’s worth of experiences into a few words? Without cutting corners and truly giving it the meaningful praise it deserves, I choose the word “transitions” to perfectly convey what this year as an AmeriCorps Leader at SpectrUM Discovery Area has meant to me.

We all transitioned into new lives when we made this commitment to serve. We left our families and our comfort zones to see new places and faces while trying to make an impact. Personally, I transitioned into a hand holding, spaceship engineering, crime detective, potion making wizard play buddy. On Wednesday I could a brain surgeon then on Friday be a computer programmer designing the next big app. SpectrUM Discovery has allowed me to wear so many hats this past year and learn so many new things, I feel that this place has a magic that not only the kids feel but the adults too. Not only in the museum with our interactive activities and playful exhibits but our traveling projects too. We somehow transform a school gym into a learning place that is disguised as a colorful play area with giant puzzle pieces, spinning chairs and rideable hovercrafts. The smiles and joys these experiences give people are immeasurable.

In between those smiles are a few logistics and, the real nitty gritty of it all. The hours of planning and organizing are what make those beautiful things happen. Our wonderful SpectrUM team make magic every day, they are the true wizards of this place.

As I embark on another transition into the unknown future, I hold back tears when thinking of leaving all the kids and people I’ve met in this mountain town. What SpectrUM and AmeriCorps has given me is more than all those smiles and good times, but a true sense of giving and what small gestures can do for a person. After this year I hope to keep with me my sense of wonder and curiosity, high regards for education for all and need to keep moving forward. On to the next transition, thank you AmeriCorps.