“When the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly”

So this is it.  My last blog entry as a Peer Leader with Volunteer Maryland (VM).  Where did the time go?  Seems like I was just writing my first post as a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator, and now my second year with Volunteer Maryland has come to an end.

While I was mentally preparing to write this final piece, the transformation from a caterpillar to butterfly came to mind.  I don’t know why.  Neither one of them is my favorite insect (I prefer lady bugs), so why was this process the first to pop in my head?  Probably because I have experienced a transformation during these two service years, much like that of a caterpillar.

It all started two years ago when I decided to join AmeriCorps before pursuing graduate school.  I wanted to gain adequate experience before filling out graduate school applications and I have done that and more.  During both years, I wasn’t sure how much ground I had I gained until I looked back to see how far I have come professionally.  Hearing the positive feedback from the Volunteer Maryland Support Team and other AmeriCorps members has confirmed how much I have grown as well.

I would respectfully call my years before VM as the “caterpillar” stage.  I enjoyed those years, and thought I had everything figured out.  By the time I joined VM, I had already entered the “cocooning” stage of my journey, where I gained/improved professional and personal skills; preparing me for the what lay ahead.  Now, I can confidently say I am ready to bloom and start a new journey as a “butterfly.”

Volunteer Maryland will always hold a special place in my service autobiography (if I ever write one) because it has given me tools I could not pay for, but desperately needed to progress as a leader, community activist, and person.  As I move on to law school, I will never forget this experience.

In a way, this is not the end after all, it is just the beginning.

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