Some of the coolest opportunities MOVE offers are the extended service trips. There are domestic and international trips that take place over winter, spring and summer breaks, completely dedicated to volunteer service. I spent a week of my winter break working in the Big Thicket National Preserve near Beaumont, Texas.
My trip was so amazing and enlightening, and fortunately I had the opportunity to prepare a scholarship project about it to present on a panel. It was called "How are you MOVED?" and each of the panelists spoke about what they took away from their trips. I was really nervous to do this, since the panel I was on was for faculty members and my voice gets all shaky when I have to speak in public. However, I really enjoyed presenting, because I realized I had so much to say about the experience.
I made a little scrapbook on mixbook.com to use as a guide for my speech. The following are a few of the ideas I addressed:
|This was the cover of my scrapbook. I was so happy that I had such an awesome time on my first MOVE trip--it definitely will not be my last!|
So, that was my experience! After I finished presenting, I found a few of my group members who had come to support me. They were almost in tears! We all talked about how much we missed Texas, and I realized that this is why I really love these people--we may not have seen each other in a while, as we're all extremely busy, but as soon as we get together again we're back in Texas and the conversation is as easy as ever.
Michael Samara, the Dean of Students, came up to me after my presentation to shake my hand. He thanked me for sharing my story, and Dave Kells from the Counseling Staff told me it was touching and something that "needs to be heard." As I walked outside, a woman approached me and told me how much she had enjoyed my presentation and ending quote. She said it was beautiful and inspiring. I was so happy to hear the positive feedback and know that simply telling my story sparked something within so many people. That's really what it's all about, and that's why I will continue to serve.