Michaela Larabee, Pleasant Mound UMC
When I applied to Project Transformation, I thought the summer was going to be a breeze: play with kids during the day, just hang out at night; no problem. Little did I know the amount of work, time, effort and stress that this internship would require. Component sheets, time sheets, team meetings, house chores, prep, and clean-up being just a few of the ritual tasks all interns must participate in. All these tasks, however, become completely and totally worth it the minute I step onto site. When the kids run up yelling “Ms. Michaela! Ms. Michaela!” distributing hugs freely (always the PT appropriate side-hug, of course) all the mental and emotional burdens melt into joy. That’s not to say that the kids are always perfect angels (they’re not), but knowing that a lot of these kids actually care about you, want to listen and learn from you, is an amazing feeling and make this entire experience worth it. I can only hope that they feel the same joy from knowing me as I do from knowing them.
Project transformation has not only enabled me to improve my skills in working with children, but also has prepared me with skills necessary in all facets of life. Teamwork, responsibility, leadership, planning and patience are just a few of the assets which PT instills and cultivates within its interns. As I grow in these qualities I know that I am better equipped for any occupation, class or position I choose to participate in life. My personal growth through this program has made me a better person, spiritually and mentally. My work with the kids has made me more aware of the needs of communities in our own country. PT has opened my eyes to the needs and has provided skills, motivation and opportunity to fill them. My participation in PT has given me further motivation to improve the lives of children and anyone who is struggling financially or otherwise now and in the future. Though the work is, and will be challenging, the hugs, the thanks, and knowing that in some small way you are helping another makes the challenge worth it.