by Brenda Kunz, corps member serving at Henry Wilson Elementary School

CYNH recently participated in a three-day retreat called Advanced Training Retreat (ATR) where corps members and staff came together to rejuvenate, reconnect and refocus our efforts towards our service. Corps members have been serving in schools for six months now and have another four months to go. Past the halfway mark, it is easy to become bogged down by mundane daily schedules and working long hours day in and day out. It is especially important for CYNH staff and corps members to remember their purpose, their goals and their importance during this time.

Retreats are a wonderful time for reflection and self-discovery. It’s important for individual corps members to think about their own journey as well as whole teams assessing and realigning their goals for the second half of the year.

Two of my favorite parts of ATR were discovering team dynamics and “I am from” poems. Discovering team dynamics was especially powerful because team members were able to rate themselves on a variety of different topics such as “I enjoy being supervised” to “I do not enjoy being supervised” or “I am an extrovert” to “I am an introvert”. Examining these ratings really helped me better understand my teammates that I serve side by side with every day.

“I am from” poems was an exercise facilitated by Charlie Rose. We were given several prompts to write about such as “Sights and smells from childhood”. At first I was hesitant to dig deep into my memories and reveal new information about myself, but once I let go, I realized just how therapeutic writing can be. This exercise helped ground me and gave me renewed appreciation for where everyone from CYNH comes from. We are truly a collective of diverse and beautiful individuals.

ATR helped me rekindle my passion for the work that I am doing here at CYNH. I want to thank our staff members who provide endless support and keep us grounded and thank my wonderful team, I wouldn’t want to serve alongside anyone but you! I am feeling FIRED UP for the second half of the year!

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