Welcome to the first blog post by the Gileads of 2016-17! To introduce myself, my name is Grace Santandreu from Buffalo, NY. I spent the past year as an AmeriCorps member after graduating college from the University of Dayton in Ohio. I studied Psychology for my undergrad and was hoping that my year in AmeriCorps would steer me towards a Master’s program to become a School Psychologist or School Counselor. After spending a year in the Buffalo Public School System as a 7th grade mentor, I decided the school environment was not for me.
Two of my close college friends had spent a year with the Episcopal Service Corps either during a gap year from school or right after graduation. I was able to visit both of them in their new cities, with their new housemates. The impression I got from their experience was that it would be fun, yet challenging, to live in an intentional community. Your patience would be tested, your communication styles would be broadened, and your support system will automatically grow with those people experiencing similar highs and lows as you start this journey together.
So far, we have had two weeks of orientation as well as two weeks at our new job sites. I was most excited about the scavenger hunt as it got us out and about around Baltimore. Check out these gems from the different places we visited!
In the way of job sites, I have the opportunity to be the new Program Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator at Great Kids Farm! This farm caters to the Baltimore City Public schools as they come to visit the farm during the warmer months, or we go to their schools during the off season. They are able to learn about where their food comes from, how healthy eating and healthy living are dependent on each other, and tie in different areas of classwork such as relating their Science lessons to the real world. We also grow food that can be brought into their cafeterias so they can have tasty, healthy food throughout the school day.
I’ve never worked on a farm before, but so far its been one of the best jobs I’ve had!
Thanks for tuning in!
More to come from the other Gileads soon enough 🙂