Hi! My name is Badria Mryyan, and I’m a Corps Member with the 2018 class of Johnson Service Corps. I’m originally from Arkansas, where I attended college as political science major at the University of the Ozarks. As I write this, we have already entered our tenth month as a corps. Time has really flown by! We’ve been up to so many things.
In my case, I live in Durham in the most beautiful old home in downtown Durham with three other corps members: Jenitza Pierce, Elizabeth Brewington, and Grace Hardwick. Living in an Intentional community definitely isn’t the easiest thing in the world because you are accountable for other people in a way that is different than just being roommates. There are struggles, but there are so many benefits that outweigh those struggles:
- You never eat alone.
- There’s always creativity in the kitchen; we have some wild pizza and burger nights that others can only dream of.
- You have people to laugh and grow with, who care about you because they want to.
- You learn to see others holistically and appreciate their talents and relate to their flaws.
The list goes on and on, but I am very grateful for those that I live with.
Most mornings and evenings I am lucky enough to walk to work. I find those walks to and from work serve as important points of reflection for my day; they help me keep a running tab of things I should be grateful for (sounds cheesy, covered in cheese, but absolutely true).
My placement is with Uniting NC, where every day is a little bit different. Our organizational mission is to make sure that everyone in North Carolina feels welcome—particularly immigrants and refugees. We mainly run a program called Code the Dream, which opens the tech sector to diversity by offering free web-development classes around the Triangle.
With Uniting NC & Code the Dream, I do a variety of work: day-to-day communications including social media management, event updates, alumni tracking, as well as providing career support to our current students at whatever point they may need it, helping with the admissions process and performing other administrative duties as needed. My favorite part of my job is when I get to spend time talking with our students and experience some of their excitement as they begin to delve into the world of coding and as they share their thoughts and dreams with me.
During my first few months of JSC, I hopped around a lot and was set on experiencing a variety of religions. I can’t say I did too much of that, but I did get to attend a variety of Christian denominational churches, and had one memorable experience at a Zen Buddhist temple. I’ve been attending the Episcopal Church of the Advocate most consistently, where I’m come to adore all of its congregants, their kindness, and the universal message of goodwill that is lived out fully. I’ve also dabbled in yoga, which has been helpful to me in relieving weekly stress and learning to love myself more.
With JSC, I have had the space to really express myself, share important thoughts on religion and the goodness of people while being continually surprised by the utmost kindness of others. I’ve learned a lot about being an adult, about myself, about leadership and how to serve others and ensure that my interactions with others are meaningful. I look forward to the next month and a half of continued growth with my fellow Corps Members.