Throughout my academic and professional career volunteerism has always been a part of who I am and what I have done. I never really gave it a second thought. Even before I was a teenager I found myself helping with food and toy drives in my local community. At first I don’t think I got much out of it, other than a feeling of community. While much of it stemmed from my faith community, looking back it may have been much deeper.
I am writing probably one of the toughest messages of my short nine year professional career. By the time you are reading this, I have probably re-written it a few dozen times over the span of a month. As many of you have come to learn, I will be leaving the EducationUSA network. It is with great sadness that I received this news, and it is hard to imagine matching such an amazing group of people that encourage, inspire, and empower everyone around them on a daily basis. The past four and a half years, hands down, have been filled with the greatest experiences of my life. I am not a man of many words, but this message warrants many words.
This year I set a goal for myself to get out and do the things I felt like I missed by focusing on work too much. I wanted to get out and meet bands, listen to great music, meet new people and most importantly, get off my ass. While I feel like this past year has been one of the most difficult professionally, it has been the most inspiring personally. I have spent more money then I should have, for the first time in my life not paid off a credit card bill in full, pushed the limits when it came to rest, wasted plenty of time sitting outside of concert venues, it was all worth it.