As the 2015-16 AmeriCorps term comes to an end, one of our fabulous instructors shares how her journey with Byte Back and its students has changed her. Thanks to Crystal and our three other AmeriCorps volunteers, Robin, Alba, and Laura, for your service and dedication this year!
By Crystal Jacobs, AmeriCorps Computer Literacy Instructor
It is always hard to say goodbye but for me that time has come again …
Since starting with Byte Back in September I have grown so much. I have learned how to utilize all my skills and have really pushed myself to learn even more. I have made lasting friendships with Byte Back staff and the other AmeriCorps instructors.
The knowledge and insight I’ve gained from so many working professionals is priceless, and the encouragement I’ve received from students has been amazing!
Having worked in all areas of DC, I have seen and heard a great many stories from the students at Byte Back – stories of loss, tragedy, and just plain bad luck have stirred my heart and opened my eyes.
For too long, like so many, I have been focused on my own plights and stumbling blocks in life. I have harbored my own resentment and ill will toward the world for making life so hard for me, but I have come to realize that I haven’t seen anything.
Byte Back students come with real life issues and real life problems that can eclipse any you may have of your own. Issues such as homelessness, abusive relationships, drug or alcohol abuse, or incarceration, and the list goes on. It has helped me to understand that EVERY person needs a helping hand sometimes, and there is no shame in that.
I have also been witness to the fortitude and strength that can be found in so many, so many who refuse to give up or give in. Those who have looked desperation in the eye and said, “keep it moving, ain’t nothing for you here.” Those are the stories I keep close to my heart as I continue to forge ahead on my own path of life. It is those breakthroughs that give us all hope for the future.
I have been privileged to have met and helped so many wonderful and inspiring people. I will continue to find ways to give back as Byte Back has taught me, and I pray that this wonderful program will grow and expand to continue helping those who truly seek a change in their life.
Thank you so much to Byte Back and AmeriCorps for this opportunity.