When you walk into a resort, what’s the first thing you think of or say?

Generally, people stand in awe saying “wow,” because of the impressiveness of the facility. I remember when I was a kid, I traveled abroad with my family, and we were walking into a Westin Resort. The environment was peaceful, and I felt as though I was entering a whole new world. I thought about why those environments evoke such emotion. I realized the stark difference between the environment I experienced at the resort and the streets of Chicago. The cleanliness and community are very different, so it creates a different vibe.
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On the second day of my volunteering with the Ryan Nece Foundation, we were able to help clean up a lady’s yard through Operation Code Vet. Weeds were overgrown, lots of intrusive bushes found their way into her garden, and she had an over-accumulation of furniture and wooden items. When I saw the state of her environment, I thought back to the time I was at the resort. I thought about how the two environments were different. I realized this was an opportunity for me to make a difference.
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Creating A Positive Vibe
By the time we finished cleaning, the place was much more welcoming. It felt like a real home someone would come back to. A positive vibe. I felt a sense of satisfaction, and I realized the work we did had a real impact on someone’s life. It was then I realized this was only the start. Through the Student Service Program, I would be able to help improve the lives of many more people, better the conditions of lots of different environments, and ultimately give back to my community.