The Paw Print
Jitters of anticipation embraced me when boarding the plane departing from Nashville, Tennessee to Denver, Colorado. Naturally, being the youngest of my family, I’ve always had a path to follow.
After months of interviews and applications I fully trusted starting a year commitment in Alamosa as the best direction for me. Beaming with excitement, my journey to Colorado required me to arrive completely solo with my two suitcases packed to the max. As the plane took off, I thought about my loving mother, brother and friends that I would miss dearly. As the plane shadowed my first sight of mountains I trusted that my loved ones whole-heartedly supported my new adventure.
My name is Katie Stiel. I recently graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in May with a Bachelor of Science degree, major in Psychology and dual minors in Women’s Studies and Mental Health.
I began my year of service on August 1 as a full-time AmeriCorps Volunteer for La Puente working in the Volunteer Coordination and Community Education office. I have lived in Alamosa for over a month, now. I felt instantly welcomed by a community of generous people within the first hours upon my arrival.
My roommates and fellow volunteers are from all over the United States and Germany. Instantaneously we have connected as a family and genuinely look after one another. All La Puente staff work as a unit each day to further develop the nonprofit, as well as treating clients with dignity and respect. I am immensely proud to work for a nonprofit organization that holds loving standards for the Alamosa and San Luis Valley community and continues to impress me on a daily basis.
Moving to Alamosa, Colo. and working full-time with La Puente established a way of redefining how I will be serving the community this year. It’s given me fresh eyes by redirecting my views on service. Service has naturally remained a constant in my life beginning with direct service of volunteering and mission trips. I most recently developed my love for indirect service by serving as presidential roles for my service sorority and service director for student organizations throughout college. My past experiences helped my acceptance for working as a full-time Volunteer Coordinator and Community Education volunteer.
Thankfully, my time here has already exposed me to situations and events that force me to go outside my comfort level, which enables my personal growth. I have a huge background in volunteering for my community at home. Since arriving here, I have learned that there’s a difference between volunteering and being fully engaged within the community you are serving. I invite you to volunteer at La Puente and become a part of our community. We have a wide variety of opportunities that can fit your personal skill level.
I am learning that one must educate oneself on the surroundings before serving others. Serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer at La Puente has instilled service as a lifestyle, not as an event placed on my calendar with a slim time frame. La Puente has provided me a home with several outlets for me to further enhance my skill level and gain experience. I want to personally invite you to utilize your time and talents at La Puente. You may contact firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the new Volunteer Coordination office at 529 Main Street, Suite 5, Alamosa, Colorado, 81101. Also, become a fan of LaPuente Home Inc. on Facebook to hear more about our upcoming events.
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