Me at KY READY Corps orientation, 4/27/18

One definition of orientation is: a usually general or lasting direction of thought, inclination, or interest.

And that type of orientation to art, learning and service are what led me to the place I am at now, Berea, Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University, and the position I am in, as an AmeriCorps Program Director, involved in readiness and resilience for vulnerable individuals.

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On April 27, 2018 I led the first KY READY Corps orientation, and it was a wonderful experience on many levels. It reminded me of many firsts, including my AmeriCorps Senior Connection orientation in 2014 and introduction to service other than volunteerism, and my decision to become an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader in early 2016 which led me to Berea and back to eastern Kentucky.

Me as VISTA Leader at Berea College, spring 2017

Me as VISTA Leader at Berea College, Spring 2017

It also reminded me of the excellent teacher I was and still am, and how right I was to believe I had more than sufficient experience and credentials to launch myself from a former art professor to a volunteer at a homeless shelter, to an AmeriCorps, then VISTA Leader and finally to an AmeriCorps Program Director.

Like all of my accomplishments of the last two years, this feels bittersweet. But I am learning to cautiously allow myself the happiness I deserve, though it has to be without Owen. Regardless, O is always with me, helping me move forward, pushing me onward, and for that I am truly grateful and blessed.

PS: I am still teaching art (Upward Bound, June 2018), making art and writing. The Art Bag Lady perseveres!




1 thought on “Orientation

  1. You have finally found a place that you can call home. In heart and in mind it is so nice to see you smile among others. Owen would just grin and cock his head and say told you had more in you than you ever gave your self credit for, and doing what you love just a bonus. I am so glad to see you found your niche and are helping others with guidance and the experience you gained. I am proud of you from the shelter and through the last few years your journey has been anything but smooth. Now to see what the rest of your future brings forth. I see it very bright and enlightening to several people who’s live you will touch and shape. Great things come to those with great ideas and the strength to make it happen. You are one of those that has made it a reality for more than you know. Thank you for your time even if just listening as sometimes it is all a person needs.

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