We will be inviting Johnson Service Corps alums to write about their experiences with and after their time with us. Adwoa Asare, 10-11, shares her story below.
I first learned about Johnson Service Corps in 2009 when I was a second semester college senior at Wake Forest University. I was attending a career fair and one of our campus ministers was running a table with information about Episcopal Service Corps programs. She knew a current corps member from a nearby college and realized based on my past involvement with Christian ministries that JSC might be a good fit for me.
I joined the corps in 2010 and lived in a cozy yellow house in Carrboro, two blocks from Weaver Street Market. My seven housemates were amazing people, and we genuinely enjoyed one another’s company. Life was not perfect, as any alum or current corps member can attest, but we worked on it together and grew both individually and as a group. I remember titling my final speech “You Are Never Alone” because in a house that small, it is nearly impossible to hide and be by yourself. But our house was also full of love and support to help us each navigate the challenges life brought.
My biggest growth point as a corps member is that I learned to love people in a way that embraced their differences rather than avoiding their differences. My heart turned from “I love you in spite of…” to “I love you.” My love for JSC continued for four years when I joined the Board of Directors during some of the program’s key transition years.
My placement organization was Habitat for Humanity of Orange County. I joined the staff there and remained for eight years until leaving in the summer of 2017 to attend graduate school. As an MBA student at The Heller School for Social Policy & Management at Brandeis University, I plan to be a bridge between the social sector and corporate responsibility. Social justice and inclusion are core values of my degree program, and I am able to draw on my JSC and Habitat experiences both inside and outside of the classroom.