Hello! I’m Emmanuel (Eli) Gemora and I served with JSC from 2017-2018. I was part of the Carrboro House and worked at Compass Center. I now live in a household that values intentional community and work as a special education teacher in Oregon.
Entering JSC, I was looking for a gap year where I could explore a new place (I’d never been to the South and had only visited the East Coast once) and grow stronger in my spiritual life. If I gained some professional development in the process, then that would be great as well! While I got all these things, I severely underestimated how much of an impact JSC would continue to have on my daily life and way of thinking even after finishing the program.
Due to the workshops I attended at JSC, the books I read, the people I interacted with, and the work I did, I gained a new way of interacting with the world. When I have disagreements with my roommates, I think about how it would have been settled in the Carrboro House. When I make a budget or am considering donating money, I think about the money workshops we did, how my mentor spent money, and what I learned about nonprofits from the partner organizations. While I no longer have a routine of daily practices, I carry that mindset with me and take the time to have spiritual reflections or to be mindful in moments of stillness (some of which I post about on Instagram).
I could easily go on longer about the many ways I’ve changed and grown through JSC, but possibly the most impactful change was my greater ability to hold and acknowledge my emotions and the emotions of others. I am more able to improve myself and handle struggles in life due to this, the people I met, and the lessons JSC taught me.