Senior at First Congregational Church Eugene
Tell us why you would like to work as an SIT this summer.
This will be my first summer after I graduate high school and the last summer before I start college. Functionally that might not mean much but it feels like a huge step in other ways. A transition to a new part of my life. I want this new period in my life to revolve first and foremost around serving others.
“I want this new period in my life to revolve first and foremost around serving others.”
Being an SIT would not only be a step forward in my life, it would be exactly the sort of undertaking that I want to characterize my time on this earth.
I know the number of summers in which I will be able to do this sort of thing are now limited, eventually I’ll have to work, i’ll hopefully leave academia, and I may not have the time or energy for this sort of experience.
This is an opportunity to seize the chance to give my labor to something that could open up new paths for me to humbly serve something greater than myself.
Why are you interested in being on SSP staff in the future?
SSP has continually been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It’s made me immeasurably more humble and introspective and I owe huge amounts of my personal growth to the project.
I think beyond how rewarding working at SSP may be, giving back to an organization that has done so much to shape me would be an incredible opportunity in itself. Anyone who has the chance to work in such an organization is lucky to have the tools and circumstances to do so much for culturally, economically and geographically marginalized communities.
“The work that SSP staff put into creating the experience and guiding the service of these communities is inspiring and I believe it calls all of us to do more for what we believe in.”
The work that SSP staff put into creating the experience and guiding the service of these communities is inspiring and I believe it calls all of us to do more for what we believe in.
Working at SSP is just one way, perhaps the best way, of living up to that. It’s a beautiful model for cooperation and just distribution of both resources and labor which some of us have in excess while too many others find in short supply.
What are your plans for next year?
I plan to attend my local community college to take classes and explore opportunities. I don’t have a concrete vision for my distant future, but I want to move forward without accruing large amounts of student debt.
The obvious choice to me seemed to be community college instead of immediately enrolling in a four year university. What is certain is that I feel the need to ensure that whatever it is I do with my life needs to revolve around or clearly center the advancement of social justice and the dismantling of unjustified hierarchy.
“What is certain is that I feel the need to ensure that whatever it is I do with my life needs to revolve around or clearly center the advancement of social justice and the dismantling of unjustified hierarchy.”
Inequity anywhere is worthy of our attention and I believe above all else that those of us with labor to spare, particularly those of us who benefit from inequity, have the responsibility to rectify said inequity.
That principle will guide me to a satisfying and acceptable path, regardless of whether it be writing, speaking, physical labor, organizing or another road to service.
Please tell us anything else about yourself that you think we should know!
I’m a firm believer in a sense of justice, particularly when it comes to marginalization and unfair distribution of resources.
I personally believe that SSP is an inspiring model for redistributing both resources and more importantly labor to people who need it. Spiritually this is key to how I view my faith, which personally is expressed through advocacy and ally-ship with underprivileged communities and individuals.
“Spiritually this is key to how I view my faith, which personally is expressed through advocacy and ally-ship with underprivileged communities and individuals.”
I believe that serving our fellow human beings is more important than personal wealth, career advancement, academic achievement, and many other traditional standards of success.
Building community and friendship and sharing compassion is simply the best way to sustain that service. Humbling ourselves before any calling is more productive when the experience is shared with people you trust, respect and care for.
That’s what SSP means to me, its why I’ll always remember it, and its why I’ll never stop being inspired by it.