Alex’s Service Reflection

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For the past three years, I have worked with Families with Children from China (FCC). FCC is an organization that provides support and information to prospective adoptive parents. It also helps network adoptive families living in a certain area. The New York branch of FCC offers a program called Girls Connect, which I have participated in for a number of years. Once a month, I join a group girls ranging from ages seven to eighteen to eat dinner, play games, do arts & crafts, and most importantly, discuss adoption. Sometimes the younger girls submit anonymous questions and concerns about adoption that us older girls help answer. Other times, the older girls facilitate conversations about school, growing up, or identity.

I was adopted from Anhui Province when I was nine months old and my parents have always been open about discussing their journey to China and the prejudice adoptive parents and children often face. Girls Connect gives me the opportunity to mentor younger girls that may not have any adopted friends to relate to. I often recognize my own past insecurities and worries about being adopted in the discussions I help facilitate, so it’s gratifying to help the younger girls work out their concerns, and more importantly, take pride in their heritage.

Summer of Service in Costa Rica

During the summer I went on a trip to Costa Rica with the organisation that goes by the name of Rustic Pathways. It is a teenage-based organisation that takes kids to different countries and teaches them about leadership and the culture of their perspective countries.

I actually went on two different trips that revolved around the sport football or soccer! I was in Costa Rica for a month and during that time I completed much service for the people of Costa Rica. We made a playground for a local school. This included making cement which was a very tiresome process indeed.  I actually built about six bathrooms for perspective schools over my trips. The service that provided over my month in Costa Rica was meaningful not only because of the actual service that I did but also for the amount of service made it feel like I was really making an impact on the communities I visited.