Rebecca Seel relocated from New York to serve as the GHCC-Sponsored VISTA at GapBuster, Inc. in Prince George’s County. Read about how opportunities she received as a teenager inspired her desire to serve teens in Maryland.
When the chance to do something great presents itself, you don’t ignore it. I don’t really believe in luck or fate, but I believe in opportunities. After I obtained my Masters Degree in journalism from Syracuse University, I found myself in a clichéd quarter-life crisis – wondering where to go and what to do with myself during a period of time of uncertainty and unfulfillment.
I became acquainted with AmeriCorps through a group of friends I met at a volunteer fair in my area. They encouraged me to apply, and by the end of that very day I had filled out the online application. I had only been to Maryland once or twice, and when I applied through Greater Homewood the only things I thought I knew about Baltimore were what I had seen on The Wire (yes, feel free to roll your eyes). But, when the opportunity for VISTA lay in front of me, I felt the call to service. VISTA was a way for me to use my skill set in the service of others.
I serve at GapBuster Incorporated in Riverdale, MD, an ambitious and expanding organization. The staff and executive director‘s excitement for their work is infectious, and I accepted the VISTA position there to be a part of a growing, youth-centric organization. After a full year of service I hope to leave behind a sustainable communications infrastructure for GapBuster, enhancing their social media and website so that the organization can continue to attract students to the program and interest throughout the community.
My favorite part of my service is the students. There are such bright minds and vibrant personalities here. It is inspiring to watch them find strengths within themselves and realize that a future they did not have access to before is within their grasp. To be honest, I just like sitting around and talking to them. I always laugh when they tell me that they weren’t sure about me at first because of my whiteness but that I turned out to be ‘okay.’
I never had an idea of what I wanted to do when I grew up, but it was through a wonderful Teen Apprentice program at my local museum during high school that I grew interested in nonprofits. The director of education led the program with enthusiasm, presenting fascinating activities every week. The Teen Apprentice program has since been cut, but its impact on my life is indelible; to give young people the opportunity to blossom is a keen interest of mine. Seeing a teenager become inspired, enabling youth to walk forward in life on avenues that were previously closed to them, just helping a fellow human discover a passion or learn a new thing are why I thank AmeriCorps for instilling in me a desire to serve, and serve faithfully, the people in my community and my country.
Are you interested in serving a year as a GHCC-Sponsored VISTA member? We’re recruiting now for our 2014-2015 cohort! Check out our website for information about how to apply and to see what positions are available. http://strongcitybaltimore.org/give-to-ghcc/americorpsvista/