Giorgie, age 22.

Host site: Common Threads in Bellingham, WA

“I’m originally from San Francisco and moved to Bellingham for college. Recently, I was one of three students who was awarded the Adventure Learning Grant from the Fairhaven College at Western Washington University. The grant gave me a stipend to design a trip anywhere in the world, a place where I could live for the year and where my world views would be challenged. I chose Lebanon. I was really excited. It was a fully-funded trip that otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to afford.

This all changed because of COVID, but I’m still learning about how nutrition works in refugee camps and reading Arabic literature because I’m interested in immigration studies and advocacy.

I learned about the WA COVID Response Corps because I needed to find something to give my days structure. The immense lack of structure was driving me to sloth. Even though I have lots of creative outlets to help relax—reading, drawing, cooking, watching Anime shows, and playing video games–I need a date, a time, and a place to do something more meaningful. I’ve always been interested in growing things, so I thought I could work in a garden or a nursery. The most satisfying elements for me are sprouting, when I grow something from a seed, and it survives. And I was looking for a chance to expand on this interest.

I found out about Common Threads, and I heard about the opportunity with the WA COVID Response Corps. The more I learned about it, the happier I got. I’ve only been part of the corps for two weeks, but I feel confident about the work. The experience so far with the kids has been positive. I was also able to watch some cool role models that have been here for a lot longer than me, handle it really well. It was a great learning experience. Talking with the middle schoolers is fun, and I can’t wait to dive into the work. I think it’s positive that three of the four new corps members at Common Threads are people of color. As a young person or a student, if you see a distinct racial difference between educators and students, even though it’s not explicitly recognized, it’s internalized. Having that type of representation is important, especially for students of color. I’m excited about the diversity. I’m also excited to learn more about gardening. And working with kids. It’s fulfilling work.”

 

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