I am sure most of you readers are wondering what the heck a Service Scholar is, so I will start off there. Being a Service Scholar is part of a scholarship program that rewards people that have dedicated a lot of their high school careers or even before to serving the community and those less fortunate. When you receive this award you have to dedicate some time to a particular place in the Rochester area as a volunteer.
Now we can get to the good story stuff with my own experiences. When people ask me where my site is I expect a pretty stereotypical, worried response back. This tends to be because I spend four hours a week with patients at the Rochester Psychiatric Center. Yeah, going there on the first day was very intimidating. Horror movies don’t do them justice though what so ever. Still, these are the images I was going into the Center with in the beginning. Even my cab driver to the Psychiatric Center asked myself and the two other girls with me if this is really what we wanted to do. I want to be a Psychologist, so yes this is what I wanted to do.
There are no chains, and most of the people are just like you and me. I take patients on bus trips with some of the staff, in order to try to get them accustom to the outside world again. The hope is that one day they can live on their own again. Imagine your life in one building, and for the most part everything is done for you. I don’t know what you are thinking, but for me that is the last thing that I want to happen. I mean it is to the point that some of the patients do not even want to go back to the world outside of the Center, because this is all that they know.
Now I have spent enough time around these people, because yes that is what they are people not animals, not monsters to learn a thing or two. This is the part where I reveal secrets to you that I keep hidden in the deepest parts of my soul. They teach me more than I could ever teach them. Yep, I said it. Gosh that feels good to get off of my chest. My visits, me simply listening to them about their experiences, going on the little trips for coffee are all such valued programs to them that I start to think about all of the things I take for granted.
So kids get outside, take a deep breath, and learn something from this story as I have.
Until next time…..Have a great day!