Wednesday, August 15, 2007

something to brag about

two years ago, when i was a fresh-faced VISTA newly appointed to juneau, my agency had me and a couple coworkers discuss our school program on a regional talk show called "capital chat". then, i was a nervous novice, and my only contribution may have been saying that the cold weather didn't bother me as much as the low-hanging clouds did. i don't even know if i meant it so much as i read it somewhere and regurgitated the opinion because if you ask me that now, i'd say yeah, it all bugs me. the cold, the clouds, the rain, the outrageous price gouging and alaska airline's exploitation of our lack of roads. this year, i presented again as a seasoned veteran with my supervisor, and we were lobbing heartfelt stories, impressive statistics and impassioned pitches with the ease of a guy on steroids whacking a whiffle ball. our CEO told me i made him tear up. now that's the kind of tear shedding i can be proud about, rather than my usual ways of making people cry.

our discussion was aided by the new release of a national study on our school based program. matched students, in comparison with non-matched youth, showed significant improvements in certain academic areas such as science, oral and written language; school efficacy; and classroom behavior. with this research backing, we can confidently say for just a little time, you make a big difference. and the fun part is that these improvements occurred not from being specifically tutored but by focusing on social interactions. you don't have to be a math expert or a literary genius to help a kid; you just have to be a friend.

okay, this post looks like an advertisement, but i am really proud of the agency's work. i don't think i could ever have a job just for a paycheck.



At 9:05 PM, Anonymous moondog said...

it is so important to find work that you can do that you actually *want* to be doing. i think it's awesome that you can say that you love what you do.


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