I have been a CBL intern for the past two months now and I must admit, I have not regretted my decision to apply to be a part of this team for one second. I have been an active member in Community-Based Learning for two years now (wow, time is flying by), and I knew from the very start I wanted to help other students feel the same sense of pride and gratitude to be involved with a program as wonderful as this one.
For me, college has been the time for me to learn how I like to spend my free time, given that I do not have much of it, and I would not want to waste the time I do have participating in something I was not truly passionate about. This program allows me to be more deeply involved with the Holy Cross community and Worcester community in ways that I did not realize I would appreciate as much as I currently do. I have been granted so many opportunities to meet different people on and off campus that I otherwise may never have met. I love being invested in their stories and maybe even becoming a part of some of their stories. In fact, I have a story to tell.
My freshman and sophomore years, I volunteered with JHC Hospice. Every Sunday, I would visit a specific person and comfort them in any way I can. Sometimes that looked like sitting with them while they cry and giving them someone to talk to and other times it looked like watching a movie together. My first year, I was assigned to multiple people, but this story is about one specific man. My friend and I would visit him in his little apartment for two hours every Thursday. We would play cards, eat candy, and listen to him serenade us with whatever 1950s song he was stuck on that day. It was beautiful to learn a little bit more about him every session and what his life in Worcester looked like. Our end of year project to him was a poster board with an audio recording of us finally singing to him. A week after our visits ended with him for the semester, we were notified he had passed away, which both surprised and saddened me deeply. Our advisor had let us know that only a few days before he had passed he was showing his nurse the poster board and telling her how much he had enjoyed our visits with him. At that moment, I learned how much my impact truly meant. I learned that you won’t always hear a thank you, but I don’t do this to hear a thank you. I do this because I want to help others in any way I can.
I love being a CBL Intern, and I am so grateful for the people I have met along the way. I love being dedicated to a program that is so gracefully purposeful in its message and mission. I hope you all get the opportunity to feel the same way I do about CBL.