Thursday, March 17, 2011

Big Cheer for Madi

Some of you may remember Madi from our Facebook photos and Youtube video. It is my proud honor to announce that she has officially (re)joined our project as our Teen Intern!

Madi and I met last summer, during which she participated in our project first as a visitor, then regular attendee. Her internship, which begins this month and will be ongoing, includes a large leadership role in the summer that involves working with diverse teens in the city, and blogging about her experience to a public audience. More (very very very exciting) details to come – stay tuned. 
And now, please join me in a big cheer for Madi!

Madi Garvin
3/3/2011 via Facebook Message

I had already been volunteering at the Philadelphia Senior Center for a month when I attended my first The Best Day of My Life (So Far) class, and as soon as it was over, I was left wanting more. I was astounded that I had already missed out on the classes I could have attended. So, I made it my goal to go back the next week. And then the week after that. Soon enough, I was a regular attendee.

The most memorable moment, or moments, of my time in The Best Day of My Life So Far was spending time with Loretta and writing down her words. At the beginning I was a little timid, after all I can barely write quickly enough for my own words! But I was able to keep up and hear some quality stories in the meantime. Hearing about her misfortune with the Philadelphia Housing Authority and how she coped and kept positive without having a place to live was truly inspirational and heart-wrenching at the same time. This particular experience, and all of my time spent with the seniors, has gotten me thinking about things differently. When Loretta revealed that she was struggling with homelessness, people offered to let her stay with them. That taught me a real lesson on humanity and how the human spirit can heal even some of the worst situations.

The Best Day of My Life So Far has also greatly impacted my life during the school year. As a result of spending my time at the PSC over the summer, I have become more extroverted and academically determined. Because of my participation in the group, I now go to many more school events and fundraisers than I did last year. Academically, I was not doing bad last year, but now I have the pleasure to say that my grades have improved: instead of getting by with mostly A-s and Bs (and the occasional C), I now pride myself in getting As and a minority amount of Bs. The class impacted my grades because I truly learned the importance of continuing one's education in a prosperous manner. In ninth grade I went from having average grades with only one honors class to having good grades with three honors courses this year, and next year I have registered to take all honors and one advanced placement class. I am truly thankful for the class, and the people in it for fostering my academic and social development (all while having a great time!)

This class has helped me grow in so many ways and I am extremely excited (and a little scared) to start blogging. Bridging the gap between seniors and teens is extremely important. Every generation has something to say!