Starting a Year of Service


Samantha Hollister

     I signed up for this program because I wanted to learn and grow as a person. Little did I know how quickly that “I” would turn into a “we.” I could not have guessed how quickly I would grow close to my seventeen fellow corps members, how much we would motivate each other, grow as a team, and support each other. We have been in Hawley, Massachusetts for three weeks, but it seems like years. What amazes me the most is the magnitude of our ability to “get things done” when we work together. We turned a pile of brush into a trail in a matter of hours. Last Friday, we moved and chopped truckloads of wood in order to heat our buildings. I never thought I would be capable of any of these things, but suddenly, with my team, I am.

     It became abundantly clear upon entering Sanderson Academy that we have a twenty year-long legacy to follow. As we walked through the halls of the elementary school with our SCA vests, children stared at us with wide eyes. They know what to expect when SCA AmeriCorps members enter their school. At lunch, kids talked excitedly about member’s past, about how great they were. I started to wonder if I will ever live up to such expectations. All self-doubt was alleviated when we engaged almost half of the kids on the playground in a game of freeze tag. Later, we were told that kids who usually played alone at recess were suddenly a part of something greater than themselves. I realize that they are not the only ones.