Read about Callye’s Mid-Service reflections after attending the ServeMT Symposium:
As the midpoint of my service term approached I was humbled by the reflections I had begun to make about the service I have done within the SMART Schools Program as well as my own personal growth. Then I was met with a sense of anxiety and urgency to figure out what comes next, not only within the remainder of my position as SMART Schools Coordinator but also post Energy Corps life. Change is never an easy thing to embrace or accept and that is why the ServeMontana Symposium could not have come at a better time. The ServeMontana Symposium, an event held for all Montana’s AmeriCorps members to come together for a day of service and informational breakout sessions, was a whirlwind of knowledge, insight, and networking for me. I attended a few of the best workshops I have ever had the opportunity to participate in. One in particular, titled Visualizing the Ultimate Impact of Your Service hit home with me because I had been toying with this concept before the event. The facilitator of the session, Shannon Stober, opened my mind to what it takes to leave a positive legacy while serving. She focused on five characteristics that allow service members to leave an impactful legacy in such a short amount of time. The two characteristics that I felt the most compelled to reflect upon were defining clear values and accountability. What do I stand for? What are my clear values and how do I demonstrate them throughout my service and life? These were questions that I have never really had to come up with concrete answers to and I will admit I struggled a bit. Did I believe I stood for something when in reality my actions portray a different set of values? I realized more self-reflection was needed after the symposium. The characteristic of accountability stuck with me as well. Was I holding myself accountable in only my service? What about my personal life? Am I holding others accountable when I need them to follow through? I desire a sense of self satisfaction in the things I accomplish and the knowing that my peers and supervisors are confident in my accountability and clear values. By focusing on these five characteristics and presenting them through a personal and community lens I was able to organize my thoughts and figure out the sort of legacy I would like to leave as this year’s SMART Schools Coordinator and what ultimately I left with was: is it not necessarily what you do for others but how you made them feel.
A few shots from the Symposium activities
It was inspirational to see the hundreds of service members come together for the ServeMontana Symposium. Embracing our own experiences within AmeriCorps, good or bad, I think we all walked away from the symposium understanding that as service members we have embarked on a journey of civil service and a part of something bigger than ourselves.
Callye Foster graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.S. in Environmental Studies and minor in Energy and Sustainability. She served two years as President for the Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions UCF (IDEAS for UCF) Chapter. Callye serves with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality as their Smart Schools Coordinator.