My greatest fear is being a problem identifier, not a problem solver. College Possible has allowed me to identify systemic issues while also acting as a remedy for them. I was once an at-risk youth that did not have guidance. All the systemic barriers were placed in front of me: poverty, incarceration, racism, and a single-parent household. College Possible has allowed me to assist students with my same origin story.
I am proud that I can assist College Possible in its mission: “We work to empower students from underserved backgrounds to become college graduates and show them that college is possible for everyone.” In my service, I am working to dismantle the systemic issue of the college degree divide. The work is fulfilling. Service is vital to every citizen in our society; it allows individuals to be empathetic. Furthermore, I am growing my connection with faith. An integral part of Catholicism is charity. College Possible has allowed me to amplify my philanthropic impact, thus strengthening my relationship with religion. Society is full of issues that are unknown to individuals until they participate in grassroots action. This service has allowed me to reflect on the issue that impacts the youth. Despite once being a victim of these issues, I was not conscious of all issues.
College Possible has allowed me to become aware of youth’s array of issues. In my youth, I endured multiple problems that resonated with the youth I worked with. Despite this, I was only aware of some things. For instance, working with students facing issues concerning their gender and sexual identity. Through this service, I have grown intellectually due to learning more about issues that face our youth and empathy for their struggles. College Possible tests me in every facet of my identity. This personal growth is one reason I continue to get up every day. The crucial reason is due to the role I play in the kids’ life. I am a relatable individual due to my age and origin. The students I work with feel comfortable with me. Due to the position College Possible places me in, I can assist these students in ending systemic poverty.
College Possible has changed me. This service has allowed me to make an impact. The obstacles students face have assisted me in growing intellectually and emotionally. College Possible has allowed me to become a complete individual.
This story was written by Jerry Jones, an AmeriCorps member for College Possible Omaha.