Next Chapter

Jenny RoseBy Jenny Rose Anacan, FC 20

Ten. It has been ten months since I hopped on Hawaiian Airlines flight 50 from Honolulu, O’ahu to Queens, New York, and a few days later Delta flight 5943 for Syracuse, New York. It has been ten months since I started my journey across the country to begin a year of service in a city that I knew nothing about. All I had been warned about was the crazy winters and the amount of snow that New York can get. I had been questioned several times if I was sure of my decision to move to Syracuse. As I reflect back on the past ten months, it has been a roller coaster of so many ups and downs, but in the end I have come to conclude that the ride to Syracuse has been one of the best decisions I have made thus far! As the Hawai’i girl I am, I got to experience memories that I probably would not have been able to back in Hawai’i. From the more than 90 minute car rides (several times!), to being able to drive through state lines, to catching a train from state to state to visit a friend, and…you guessed it… to experiencing the four seasons!

In the ten months I have been at Vincent House, I have learned so much serving the children from kindergarten to twelve years old. Being able to provide a safe haven for these children after school in a youth center during the times that the highest number of crimes can happen has been such a blessing to me. God has placed me at Vincent House for my year of service for a reason. Vincent House was part of God’s plan for me and as the weeks to my last day come closer, I am starting to unfold a better understanding as to why it was part of God’s plan for me. The children at Vincent House have become one of my inspirations in life. They have given me validation as to why I would like to open up a nonprofit organization for children back home in Hawai’i. There were moments that were challenging, but overall, the children have brought so much joy and growth in my life.

In the next ten months, I will find myself two hours west of Syracuse in Buffalo. Here I will be pursuing a graduate degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration. During my undergraduate career, I have found a passion in the Higher Education world. I know moving to Syracuse for my year of service has helped me transition from being away from home. I hope to take what I have learned during my year of service as I soon start my journey to my graduate degree. The children at Vincent House will have a special place in my heart and I hope that I am able to visit them once in a while as I am in Buffalo. It may be hard for me to pin point exactly what my year of service has taught me, but I know without a doubt that as moments come up I will come to the realization that FrancisCorps has played a significant part in what I am doing.

I thank God each and every day for bringing FrancisCorps into my life. I strive to bring God’s love through my actions and words. I strive to serve God’s people. I strive to make this world a better place each and every day no matter what I am doing in life. I am extremely excited for what God has planned for me in the next chapter of my life after FrancisCorps.

Discovery Of Love

IsabelBy Isabel McCormack, FC 20

Where am I called to go from here? Well, physically, in a few weeks, I am packing up and leaving Syracuse, leaving Francis House, and going home. I am hopefully starting a nursing program in Chicago within the next year, which is a decision I am confident in, and one that I can thank Francis House and its entire staff for helping me to see so clearly. When I think back to this year, though, I am not going to hold in high regard the moment that I made the decision to become a nurse. I am going to remember all the moments, both incredibly challenging and life-giving, that have shaped me into the person that has not only made the decision for my next step, but has also has impacted each step I will take after.

I am heartbroken to leave Francis House, and yet so ready to go on to my next adventure. I am going to take so much from Syracuse with me: the love from residents and their family members, memories from staff and volunteers who have become like family to me, the personal growth I’ve made, the many frustrations and joys both at the FrancisCorps house and my service site, and the life-changing friendships I’ve made. Each experience I’ve had this year, both large and small, has impacted me and has altered my trajectory for the path I am taking in life.

The most impactful “experience” I’ve had this year that I am going to be taking with me, and definitely the hardest to explain in a short blog post, is a new discovery of love. I have soaked up so much love and joy this year at Francis House, and reflecting on it, I know that I am called to share that love wherever I go, starting at home with my family and at school, and continuing on to my profession. I am called to a life of service, no matter where I am or in what capacity I am serving. There is a handful of people who I have met this year, or have heard about from other service sites in Syracuse, that have taught me this lesson. They live with so much love and generosity, not just doing service, but living service. Those are the people who change the world, one small community at a time. Those are the people that have inspired me, and that’s how I know where I am called to go from here. I have learned from this year that am called to be a nurse, but more than that, I have learned that I am called to be one that has a heart for service. I am called, to the best of my ability at every stage of my life, to reach out to and to generously serve both the people around me and those at the periphery.