A Home Away from Home

By Laura McPherson on July 1, 2017.
Dancing together at the Life after AmeriCorps Training

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a big family person.  My biggest fear before (and after) accepting my AmeriCorps Project Conserve position was how far away I was going to be from the people I love most and the place I call home.  Even though it’s only a 3 hour flight and a 14 hour drive home, it’s the farthest away I’ve ever been long term.

This year has been a huge journey for me.  Being out of my comfort zone in a different place with different people opened my eyes to how independent I can be but how much I love being around people at the same time.  The relationships and kindness from the people I’ve come to know in NC are irreplaceable and unforgettable.  This journey has shown me that I am my own person and that I can strive in a new environment, as long as there are good people with me.

A big part of my experience in NC has been forming relationships with the AmeriCorps members in my program and the staff at my host site.  We get to spend a lot of time together, from trainings to service days to work days to hanging out outside of “work” hours.  Of course I won’t forget the wonderful things I’ve learned about the Blue Ridge Mountains here, or all the skills I’ve gained from doing volunteer coordination, non-native invasive work and project management, but I think the biggest thing that will stick with me is the people I’ve met and come to call my friends.  I’m going to miss them. But I’m also really excited to stay in touch and keep those friendships alive.  That’s what I’ve enjoyed the most - creating a second family away from home.

MountainTrue staff and family participate in the Chamber Challenge 5K