This year I have been able to do a lot of reflection and unpacking of all my recent experiences, especially my educational ones. I have learned the importance of telling my story and the impact I can have by using my voice.
As I sit here and reflect upon the decision to become a MACC VISTA, I remember being scared of not succeeding in the role. I guess I still kind of am afraid of not having an impact. But the more involved I get with Student Bridges and our community partners the more I realize what a difference and impact “the little things” make. The networking, the staff meetings, the conferences, the amazing discussions that happen in the office are all pieces to that bigger puzzle. Those little things matter to me and make me so excited to be a part of this movement.
Serving at my alma mater worried me at first because I had just finished my undergrad degree. I was worried about working with students close to my age and that weird transition from being a student to an alumni/staff member. Once I got to campus and started working with the staff, a lot of those worries went away. From the moment of my arrival I felt welcomed and supported in my transition to this new role. More importantly, they remind me and help me see the value of my history with Student Bridges and the work I have been and will be doing this year.
I have been fortunate as an undergrad to see Student Bridges grow from its inception to an incredible, progressive agency on campus. I have the longest history with Student Bridges out of all of our staff members. That fact was a little overwhelming but I see it as an opportunity to exchange knowledge with staff and get our alumni more involved again.
With this new academic year came new staff members to the SB team. I knew that I had to pass on my story, my experiences and my history to the new staff to carry it on for the ones to come. I can’t believe how fast time is flying. September was a whirlwind of a month; jam packed with tons of events and recruitment opportunities for Student Bridges. Holyoke and Springfield Bound went extremely well. It was a great experience going from planning sessions to the actual events. Now as the month of October is here and the buzz from September dies down a bit, I am focusing more on helping to develop our tour training as well as our tour planning process. I am also starting to develop a system or method to track our alumni as well as reach out to them to have them included more in the organization.
I guess at the end of the day I really am trying to keep the spirit of Student Bridges alive within our staff and passing on the fire of access & success to the generations after us.
This blog post was authored by Lorena Holquin, who serves as a MACC Vista for Student Bridges and has been with the organization since it’s inception.