Each semester, Project MARS/AmeriCorps collects “Great Stories” from its members in which they reflect on their experiences mentoring in the classroom and the progress they see students making. This month’s story comes from Allison Chastain.
Since the end of this school year, I have really been reflecting on my experiences as an AmeriCorps volunteer. The children that I had the pleasure of meeting and working with this year will forever be in my heart, and I already miss them dearly. After working one-on-one every single day with the children that I was assigned, it is hard to adjust to not seeing them every day. I have always heard people say that the reason you should be kind to everyone you meet is that you never know what they’re going through, and this concept became very real to me throughout this service year. As I got to know these children better, I was heartbroken to find out all that they have to go through; it reinforced that a smile and positive encounter, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, really make a huge difference in these little ones’ lives. I am so glad that I got the opportunity to offer these special kids a little bit more light and friendship this year.