A New AmeriCorps Year

IMG_20151020_084129A new service year smells like fresh paint.

It looks like an empty desk.

It feels like putting on a new Volunteer Maryland T-shirt for the first time.

My new Volunteer Maryland T-shirt is pristine. It sits on my desk reminding me of the identical shirt that I received about this time last year when I began my term as a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator.IMG_20151020_084919

That shirt saw me through my first and last debate tournaments as the VMC for the Baltimore Urban Debate League. It saw the first debate judge training I facilitated and the beaming faces of middle schoolers as they received medals and trophies. It proudly bears the stains of cucumber soil and wheelbarrow grime, the dirt having been ground into it at a service project last summer on the Eastern Shore, the wheelbarrow gunk from volunteering at a fellow VMC’s site. It connected me to Volunteer Maryland whenever I wore it, and it gave me an extra boost of confidence and determination whenever I remembered I had it on.

When I think about this upcoming service year my mind races to the new things I will see and do with my fellow AmeriCorps members and what sorts of marks we will make, both on Maryland and on our VM gear. I want to see this new shirt splashed with the water of the Chesapeake and the snot of eager kindergartners. I want it to be muddied on a farm and dressed up with a jacket for a professional luncheon. I want it to see people and places all throughout the state being impacted by the hard work and passion of this new class of Volunteer Maryland Coordinators. I want my shirt to see challenges and successes, great days and bad.

This service year is my shiny new Volunteer Maryland T-shirt, and it can’t wait to be worn in.

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