During my time as a Nutrition Education AmeriCorps Member for the Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri (CCCNMO), I have learned many things.
Go with the flow.
Being that my entire service year has been in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have gotten used to the idea that plans do not always end up going as you wish. Where I used to despise the uncertainty, now I appreciate it and choose to go with it rather than cause friction by going against it. If all of my plans would have went exactly as I wanted, I would have missed out on many learning opportunities and working with a more diverse clientele.
Change paths, not pace.
I came in to my service year knowing how to teach Nutrition. But I didn’t know how to do it effectively, for my intended audience, in the middle of a pandemic. With the help and support of the CCCNMO staff and Catholic Charities USA AmeriCorps Program Managers, I have been able to overcome the difficulties of teaching through Zoom, having socially distanced class, and being an effective teacher in a short-time frame. I had to change my course of action many times, and failed at most of my initial attempts. But because of my great support system, I was able to keep my pace and stay focused on my goals.
Greater health can be achieved in many ways.
Being a part of the genesis of the Health and Nutrition Services Department at CCCNMO, I have been able to see how diverse health care really is. During my service year, I was able to participate in 4 different health related programs. While these programs were effective in increasing the physical health of the participants, I know that the simple gestures of CCCNMO staff and volunteers smiling (masked) faces, optimism despite the sometimes grim circumstances, and joy while serving also did wonders for the mental and social health of the clients that we served.