We asked the seven 2017-2018 Precious Blood Volunteers to answer three questions:
- What is/are some relationship(s) that have stood out for you during your time as a Precious Blood Volunteer?
- What are some of the experiences that have stood out for you during your time as a Precious Blood Volunteer?
- How have you grown during your time as a Precious Blood Volunteer?
Below is the answer from former Precious Blood Volunteer John Lee.
I can’t say enough about the relationships and bonds that I was able to make with the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, the Cristo Rey Staff, and the Cristo Rey students. But, throughout my experience, the relationships that stood out to me the most were the bonds that I formed with my fellow Precious Blood Volunteers and Jesuit Volunteer Corps Volunteers.
All of us served at different placements and had drastically different challenges to face and overcome. Even so, we were able to find time throughout the week, even if it was a brief conversation, to check up on each other and hear about what each of us was going through. We had our ups and downs, but to know I had the full support of each of my new friends really kept me going.
Two experiences that stand out to me are seeing moments of realization and understanding in my students and living in community. To this day, I honestly am not sure what compares to seeing that moment in your students’ eyes when the material finally “clicks.” The days, sometimes weeks, of working with students finally comes to a singular moment where clarity strikes. There is just something beautiful about witnessing the entire process of a student grow from struggling and frustration in their work to truly believing in their own potential and thriving in the classroom.
Living in community is an experience that I’ve never experienced for this long of a period. It’s an experience that you cannot find in many other places other than when you are volunteering. To come together with a group of complete strangers who have completely different backgrounds solely through the desire to living to serve others and the community is an indescribable concept. It’s something that I never really pictured myself wanting so much now after having it come to an end.
During my time as a Precious Blood Volunteer, I saw the biggest growth in my perspective towards time. I came into the volunteering experience with an open mind expecting to make a difference in a positive way. I knew coming into the experience that I would serve as a volunteer for six months. Initially, I thought that this was a long period of time, but in reality, it was the exact opposite. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to change lives. I wanted to do everything that I could to make a positive impact in someone else’s life. I would go head first into every situation and I forgot that relationships don’t always work in such a fast paced manner. I was clouded by my desire to help so much that I forgot to stop and say hello. I was trying to run before I could walk. As a volunteer, I was able to grow and realize that time and patience are essential in moving forward.
John served as a Precious Blood Volunteer from July 2017 to June 2018 at Cristo Rey Kansas City High School.
To learn more about becoming a Precious Blood Volunteer go to www.preciousbloodvolunteers.org.