words from an fjv

8 08 2012

We write to you this week live from Orientation 2012 where Camp Adams is full of expectant 2012-2013 JVs! This year, we asked Former JVs to write notes to the incoming JVs as a way to encourage, offer advice, and share a memory of the year that made them “ruined for life.” Below is a note from a Former JV reflecting on her JV experience almost 20 years ago:

It has been 18 years since I was sitting in your place.  I was very excited to be heading to Fairbanks, Alaska for an adventure and to spend some time figuring out what to do with my life.  There were ups and downs throughout our year amongst the five of us.  We were all there for different reasons and grew at different rates, but by the end of the year I believe all five of us had a much better idea of who we were and where we were going.  I figured out that working with at-risk youth was a passion for me and so here I am all these years later advocating for abused and neglected children through the Guardian ad Litem Program of North Carolina.  I am definitely “ruined for life.”

My advice to you for this year is to breathe.  Breathe when you’re faced with a situation where you don’t know what to do.  Breathe when one of your housemates gets on your nerves.  Breathe when you have a client who does the exact opposite of what you have counseled them to do.  This is a year for listening, learning, and growing.  Breathing is critical.

Good luck and know there is a whole community of Former JVs supporting you.

Jennifer Nehlsen

Fairbanks ’94-95

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