(FR)iend l(OVE)

Written By Cheyanne Ramón, CSU STEM VISTA 2015-16, CSU Bakersfield Fab Lab

unnamed.jpgWarning: Parks and Rec Finale spoilers ahead

During the series finale of Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope gave a wonderful speech that illustrates work in public service:

“When we worked here together, we fought, scratched, and clawed to make peoples lives a tiny bit better. That’s what public service is all about: small, incremental change every day. Teddy Roosevelt once said, ‘Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is a chance to work hard at work worth doing.’ And I would add that what makes work worth doing is getting to do it with the people that you love.”

This year was hard. I moved away from home. I worked in a city I had never been to. I didn’t know how to begin my work. Some days were longer than most. Sometimes people didn’t cooperate. But at the end of the day I had my fellow VISTAs to rely on.

IMG_0408.jpgAlthough I didn’t have a co-VISTA on site with me, each VISTA of our cohort was accessible and helpful despite the miles that separated us.

That’s what is unique about the CSU STEM VISTA Program: we are a family. We leapt from tall trees and fell into each other’s arms, and if that doesn’t bond you for life, I don’t know what will. Our retreats, discussions, and webinars brought me closer to everyone. I got to see snippets into their work and lives as we shared about our struggles and goals.

I have made a friend in each individual in our cohort and I am thankful.

To the 2015 – 2016 cohort:

unnamed-2.jpgThank you for all the little life chats and words of encouragement.

Thanks for keeping me company.

Thank you for teaching me.

Thank you for the resume reviews and feedback.

Thanks for brightening my mornings with random pictures and commentary in the GroupMe.

Thanks for hugs, smiles, and laughs.

But most of all thank you for the frove.

“Not to say public service isn’t sexy because it definitely is, but that’s not why we do it. We do it because we get the chance to work hard at work worth doing, alongside a team of people we love.”

I am incredibly sad to see everyone go, but I am glad to have had the pleasure of working with all of you. Good luck in your future endeavors.

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