Diane Hary, Youth Intern and Worship Coordinator at Oak Cliff
My journey with Project Transformation initially started in June of 2013. The summer of 2013 was my first summer working for Project Transformation and I haven’t stopped since. After the summer was over, I decided to work part-time in the after school program and then to come back again in the summer of 2014. All three of my experiences have been very different, but all have helped me grow, learn and transform. It is crazy to think that one person can develop and change in so many ways in such a short period of time while working for the same non-profit organization.
Since I started working for Project Transformation, I have changed my major three times and changed colleges. What?! How did that happen you may ask. I was so sure coming into my summer of 2013 that I was going to go to seminary after getting my undergraduate degree in Religion Pre-Seminary and then I would go on to become a missionary somewhere far away. Since Project Transformation, I have built my own degree to help prepare me to pursue urban missions through non-profit organizations right here in the United States. I want to be clear though; none of these changes have been because of my doing. Every transformation I have gone through has been through my kids and the Holy Spirit. I see God in these kids and I see love. I can honestly say that I have really learned what it means to love and be loved while working with Project Transformation. I have learned the reality of children being drastically behind in their reading levels and how that can define the trajectory of their lives. I have learned firsthand of the struggles people go through living in low-income neighborhoods. I have seen a glimpse of what it is like to grow up with only one parent and the effects that can have on a child. I could keep going on and on about what Project Transformation has taught me, but I think there is one specific lesson that I am meant to take away from Project Transformation; that lesson is that I can’t change the world. I am not here to change the world or make a difference in the world. I am here to love and to care for others. I am not here to transform people. I cannot transform people. I believe that only God can do that, but that sometimes that transformation can happen through me. I can be the conduit. I have seen a kid go from not being able to read to being able to read a whole book in half an hour. I have seen children change because someone gave them a leadership role. I have had kids tell me that I changed their lives (even a year later) when I didn’t even realize it. I have seen kids go from hating reading to learning to love books. I have seen a lot, but I have done so little. That is where I see God and ultimate transformation. Project Transformation has changed my life and I will never be the same again.