Getting “Connected” with Lilly

Being a part of the Shi Center’s fellowship has revealed to me the dynamic nature of the word “sustainability.” Everyone in the program is applying their own unique passions and skills to furthering a different area of sustainability in Greenville. In their distinct ways, the group has come together to create a lasting impact on the local community.

When I started this fellowship, I had very little knowledge about sustainability in Greenville, but I quickly came to learn and appreciate the impressive efforts underway in our quaint little city. Even beyond appreciating, I found myself inspired by the level of dedication of local community leaders.

My internship with the Lilly Center for Vocational Reflection is giving me the opportunity to attach issues of vocational reflection and sustainability. The Lilly Center’s mission is to help Furman students find their life calling by helping students distinguish their passions.

The Center just finished up the Connections Program for incoming Freshmen this last week. The program is a nine day program for incoming Freshman dedicated to aiding the inward reflection of students in preparation for their first year at Furman. We spent most weekday mornings interning at Frazee Dream Center for disadvantaged children.

Working with the kids at Frazee Dream Center during the Connections Program.
Working with the kids at Frazee Dream Center during the Connections Program.

I could just see the eyes of the Connections program participants light up every time they interacted with the kids. They were so enthusiastic about volunteering. I wondered what it would have been like had they never learned about the work Frazee was doing. Will they continue to volunteer after getting on campus or is their excitement  just a phase? Will one little experience completely change their Furman experience?

This week long program perfectly illustrated the purpose of the website I am creating for my internship. I am determined to help students get connected to the sustainability movement in ways which most inspire them to be their most authentic selves. Sometimes what people need is a little direction; which is what I hope to give on the site.

Similar to the way “The Connections Program” taught students about various opportunities to make a difference in the local community, I hope to connect students with the sustainable leaders, organizations, and movements happening in Greenville through the site. It is my goal to make the (yet to be launched) website as central hub for introducing students to places where they can make positive change.

Inspiration, passion, and desire are all at the heart of driving meaningful change. As I have learned with my time at the Lilly Center, in order to make the largest impact, you first have to understand yourself. From there… the possibilities are limitless.

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