Every week, members and partners of the Michigan Active Citizens Alternative Spring Break (MAC-ASB) community will share their stories through our blog, which is a series of narratives inspired by the experiences, memories, and meanings made and shared through ASB trips. This week, we bring an experience from Lead Team member and former site leader, Grace Beckman.
I genuinely believe that my involvement in Michigan Active Citizens has positively impacted every aspect of college experience. I feel extremely blessed to have spent my four years on campus working with the MAC-ASB. Through the program I have grown to take other perspectives into consideration before drawing my own conclusion, as well ask been challenged to think critically about how I speak with others and engage with communities. Because of my ASB experiences I now make a conscious effort to ask “why” when I feel uncomfortable, uneasy or perhaps frustrated in situations.
Though each ASB trip is different and wonderfully unique in its dynamics and adventures, I found both of my trips to be enlightening because of the individuals who worked at Junior Achievement and Camp for All. Both education and healthcare are issues that affect individuals who hold various identities. Further, as these issues are incredibly layered within our institutions and our society, there is no easy solution for either issue.
I will not begin to compare my short-lived experience working on the sites to the any of the staff members’ who work with the issues each day, but I can imagine the work results in a fair amount of burnout. However, it was the motivation of the community members that inspired me the most throughout my spring break trips. It was speaking with the workers at my sites and hearing their passion for what they do and why they continue to fight each day, even when they are frustrated by the injustices that are perpetuated. It was seeing their level of commitment, love and dedication that inspired me to continue to grow and learn.
I now use my passion for our community partners as a member of the Site Development Team. I aim to spread my own love for service with our community partners and the respect I have for the work that they do. I want our participants and our site leaders to be excited for their trips and for the interactions with communities, but also have appreciation for the work that these sites continue to do each and every day. I am incredibly grateful to MAC-ASB for giving me fours years out of its rich history. Thank you for giving me knowledge to continue to expand on, countless memories, and forever friends. MACya! ASBye for now!