Volunteer Profile: Lyvette in Coastal Bend
Learning, growing, sharing…
Lyvette, a recent Brooklyn College graduate from the South Bronx, is taking some time off from pursuing a career right after graduation. She is spending this opportunity to learn more about herself and what she really wants to do in life with our All Hands and Hearts base in Texas.
As a member of Americorps CitySquare, Lyvette has been volunteering with our Texas Hurricane Harvey Recovery Program at our Coastal Bend base for three months now. This marks the halfway point of her six month commitment with Americorps CitySquare.
Since arriving in Coastal Bend, Lyvette says, “I have been constantly learning something new about myself and the people all around me[…] I’ve, like, learned how to step back and understand others better.” Through giving back—building friendships, and learning more about herself—Lyvette has learned a great deal about what she might want to do in life, because like most of us “[…]it’s always changing.”
Her love for volunteer work started in Puerto Rico with her university’s community service program, CUNY Service Corps. While in Puerto Rico she learned about All Hands and Hearts, who were also doing recovery work on the Island from Hurricane Maria. Through applying to All Hands and Hearts, she found the AmeriCorps CitySquare opportunity. This partnership between the two organizations allowed her to experience a different part of the US and fulfilled her passion for giving back and rebuilding homes for an extended period of time.
“At first I was like, wow, [six months] that’s a long time. I’ve never really been away from home like that… Like when I went to college I was in the city, I took a train to class then I’m coming back home. But now I’m getting more used to it, and I love it because I’m always with somebody 24/7.”
Those who know Lyvette would not be surprised by the huge impact she has had on base life in Coastal Bend. She is the first one to think of activities and to host events for everyone. Whether it’s yoga, karaoke, dance-offs, basketball, fundraising, and more, she’s made an event for it these past few months.
“I’m constantly trying to create community-friendly events[…] It’s important because you’re constantly waking up, going to work, coming back to base with these people… I feel with having these activities for people lined up, you’re understanding each other more, like, you find out you have a lot of things in common. Like, ‘Oh you like to play this too,’ or, ‘I didn’t know you like yoga’ […] it’s so cool that that can bring somebody together and, like, you get to know more about the people you live and work with.”
So whether it’s keeping the energy high on site or back on base, you can always count on Lyvette to be the spark that makes life on program a little easier and super enjoyable. To anyone who is thinking about volunteering, all she has to say is this: “Just apply, you’re going to love it. The people here, building friendships and connections… You’re going to take away something great when you leave here.”