What a year this has been! From Femi Memorial Outreach Fund winning the 2011-2012 Ignation Spirit Team Award to partnering up with Loyola University Chicago, The University of Chicago and Dominican University, and at the same time gaining twelve host locations in various Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Park Districts to include our after-school homework assistance program, I start to think how blessed I was to watch the growth of this organization right before my eyes. I mean, I was actually a part of this whole growth experience for Femi Memorial Outreach Fund. From the many accomplishments of Femi Memorial Outreach Fund, I take the time to look back at my very own accomplishments. As I take a look back from the past, I can’t say that I’ve done it all on my own. Yes, I’ve had a great support system from my family to my friends and I still do. However, one unique support system that I’ve gained these past four years and could never imagine gaining would be that of Femi Memorial Outreach Fund.
From being a little freshman tutor to Head Tutor all the way to becoming an Executive Intern for Femi Memorial Outreach Fund has been not one, but several accomplishments indeed. And if you’re asking, No…I am not tired working for the same organization! Looking back has knocked me over and made me realize that most of my proud accomplishments during my undergrad career come from my experience at Femi Memorial Outreach Fund. Recently, I graduated Loyola University Chicago…..Double Yayyyy! Now, I am not the only 2013 graduate who tutored for Femi Memorial Outreach Fund for their entire undergrad career. Let’s pause and take the time to loudly cheer and clap for our other two awesome graduates….Aubrey Carver and Courtney Neale!
Aubrey, Courtney and I have tutored for Femi Memorial Outreach Fund for four, full years during our undergrad career at Loyola University Chicago. Now even though we didn’t see each other all of the time, they are familiar faces and remain being friends to the organization. With me traveling to schools on the South Side to help out in-class and after-school and going to the Park District locations while they’re traveling to schools and Park District locations as well has caused us to not see each other often. Yet, I know that they’re hard-working and busy as much as I. Even though I can’t exactly speak for the both of them, I can try to speak on behalf of the both of them. I know that tutoring for these past four years during undergrad has been a tremendously amazing and life-changing experience with many ups and downs. The important thing is that during these ups and downs, the children were not alone; we’ve triumphed through it all together, like a family. Nonetheless, I repeat that it was an Ahhh-mazzzing and Life-changing experience!
Now, I know a lot of you are probably reading this and thinking… “You just tutored some kids for four years…Big Whoop!” However, those of you thinking like that won’t know what it’s like until you’ve actually experienced it. And for those of you, who think otherwise, knows what it’s like and actually experienced it. But these children weren’t just any children; these were children who came from underserved and multicultural communities. These were children who walk outside in their communities and see that there is no hope. These are children who haven’t had great role models in their lives and they are at-risk. When I started off my freshman year at Loyola University Chicago, I remember saying to myself that I need a work-study job. And being the fact that my family was against me working during school because they wanted my sole focus to be on my studies, my mother kept telling me that I need to get a work-study job in college. I have an older sister who is about fifteen years older than me and a younger sister who was in high school during the time I was entering college. So technically, I didn’t really know a lot about how to find a work-study job or even how all of this work-study stuff works. Let me tell you, as much as my mother and sister tried to help me out because they graduated college a long time ago, I still felt that finding a good work-study job was hard. So I said okay, I am going to search for a work-study job right now, when I did, I logged on to the Loyola’s Career Website and ding…I came across Femi Memorial Outreach Fund. It was like fate or something because I didn’t know they would call me back for an interview.
I was nervous because I’ve had experienced being a Caddy during the summer and I’ve had summer internships in high school, but I never had an actual job before. Applying to Femi Memorial Outreach Fund was the easy part, interviewing was nerve-wrecking and when I received that call back, it was life-changing. Life-changing, how? Well, let’s just say that getting to know these children that I’ve tutored and seeing how their lives are different from that of mines has allowed me to grow up, so to speak. I used to be self-centered. I thought that I deserved every little thing in life and that it should be given to me not earned, if I didn’t get anything I viewed it as unfair. Now that I’m looking back at it, I seem pretty selfish. You know that phrase “sharing means caring”…well that wasn’t me! Yet, I met so many kids who are pretty content with every situation of their lives and they go by with very little, almost close to none, every day. I met kids in worse conditions possible. What really is an eye opener is to see that no matter what the situation is, they wanted to go to school and learn something. I changed because of that! I gained sympathy and empathy. It didn’t take one day or one year, but these past four years gave me enough time.
I learned from these children as much as they learned from me! As I move on with my life and continue on to work hard for my future, I will never regret and forget working for Femi Memorial Outreach Fund. Femi Outreach has believed in me from the very beginning and during these past four years it has put a lot of hope and trust in me and my hard work. I’ve gained something incredible and unexplainable from Femi Memorial Outreach Fund. I will always remember the best work-study job and internship experience I’ve had at Femi Memorial Outreach Fund!
In other good news, Femi Memorial Outreach Fund is working to keeping more of you in the loop of things. We have just created our 2013 Newsletter. The 2013 Newsletter talks about our recent accomplishments in the 2012-2013 Academic Year as well give tribute to our most generous and loyal donors. And we can’t forget, Femi Memorial Outreach Fund has dedicated a section to the recent graduates. I know that the organization is proud to see their tutors graduate each and every year. Although it’s always hard to lose a good one, it’s a more positive feeling to see their success, even after their experience with Femi Memorial Outreach Fund. We will miss our tutors, but they know that Femi Memorial Outreach Fund is home and they are welcome to come and help out anytime. Congrats to everyone graduating in the World, from the East Coast to the West Coast all the way down to the Midwest. Wherever you are on the map, whether it’s the United States of America, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and/or Europe…Congratulations on graduating! Femi Memorial Outreach Fund is proud of you!