As a confused freshman, it only made sense to follow suit. Consequently, this choice blinded me to some of the other options on campus. It wasn’t until a friend suggested I try out a service program called MAGIS that my understanding of how I move about the world shifted. This decision is one that I feel led me to do JVC in San Francisco where I serve as a case manager at the Homeless Prenatal Program.
It was through MAGIS that I could center myself amidst a busy week by exploring service options and social justice issues in Philadelphia. Service offered me a chance to step away from campus and academia and focus on some of the larger issues people were facing in my own city. I was able to learn to live in the moment and get to know the stories of the people around me. It was also an experience in vulnerability and sharing some of my own stories with them. MAGIS was my gateway into service, and sparked a passion that I continued to follow throughout my college career.
I later got a job at a primary care office and saw some of the same elements that I observed during my MAGIS experiences through the compassion of the doctors where I worked. These physicians took on a supportive role for many of the patients. While a younger version of myself was caught up in the way I would look to medical schools on paper, I lost some sight of the kind of physician I’d eventually want to become: one who focuses on forming relationships with patients. Without service I may have missed this realization completely.
After a lot of discernment, I decided that JVC was the best next step to take in my journey. The impact of service throughout my entire college career allowed me to change the way I see and interact with others, which is vital to my ultimate goal. As I know, I have a lot more room to grow and JVC represents a time to do just that by immersing myself in community. It’s a way to stay grounded by dedicating myself to values such as a simple lifestyle and educate myself on ways to practice this after my experience as a JV. I know that this year at Homeless Prenatal Program will be challenging, but it will give me skills that will eventually allow me to become the compassionate physician that I want to be.
Are you looking to live and work with those in need to build a more just and hopeful world? Give us one intense year, and we’ll give you a sense of purpose to guide every year that follows.