Do you you ever wonder what happened to those awesome AmeriCorps staff who dedicated a year (or more!) to Trinity's Outreach Programs? For the month of February, we will be highlighting a few of our past members, culminating in the release of a Trinity Outreach publication, highlighting the service of past AmeriCorps at Trinity's 2016 Annual Meeting.
Seth Farber served in AmeriCorps at the 7th Street Learning Center (now the Bobcat Learning Center) from 2003-2005. Currently, Seth lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where he is an occasional free lance writer and stay at home dad to his two children. Here are some of his thoughts on his time at Trinity.
My favorite memories of my time at Trinity are of the basketball court and the swimming pool, those brief moments when I got to see students I worked with on a daily basis truly relaxed and fully themselves.
During my time at Trinity, I learned how to be an outsider, how to contribute to a community whose life experience differed vastly from my own. I learned to speak less and listen more. I learned that earning trust (especially from middle schoolers!) is a humbling and time-consuming process. I learned that white churches need to tread lightly and not assume we know what's best for our neighbors. I learned that, in the grand scheme, I didn't know very much.
I'm not sure I put those lessons to good use during my AmeriCorps stint, at least not as much as I wish I had, but they have certainly shaped my life and work in the decade since. In my new home in North Carolina, I try to listen to my community more than I talk, to be patient and not overestimate my importance, and to stand in solidarity with friends and neighbors affected by racial injustice. In many ways, the lessons of those humbling and eye-opening Trinity years have enabled me to offer more meaningful support to friends and neighbors in the immigrant rights movement. For the past few years here in NC, I have found my niche as a writer, helping undocumented activists get their message out as they fight for their community's rights.
But in the grand scheme, of course, I still don't really know all that much.
Update: Seth and his wife, Kristy, have recently moved to Bellevue, WA where Kristy has accepted a call to become Pastor of Mercer Island Presbyterian Church.
Trinity continues to utilize AmeriCorps members in our Education Programs through our partnership with the Northwest Leadership Foundation's Urban Leaders in Training Program.