The first time I stepped through the door, I was just coming to Springhouse for what I thought would be a short visit. I was quickly swept up into the vibrant energy radiating from the students as they prepared for Presentation Night, an event held twice a year that is open to both Springhouse families and the wider community and is an opportunity for students to showcase their work.
Shortly after my arrival, I noticed a steady work hum that permeated the room. I observed students pacing around the room, practicing presentations with each other, amending PowerPoints, and making final adjustments on exhibits. I felt the power of the creative workflow pulsing through the room. Full of curiosity, I walked around asking students questions about their projects and was pleasantly surprised to hear the confidence in their voices accompanied with their openness to share and receive feedback from a stranger. I was struck by their courage and vulnerability and their ability take ownership of their work.
I was asked to step in and assist a student with an exhibit he was putting together. I had no idea what I was doing or what to expect, but I felt eager to help, so I jumped right in. I remember going home that evening feeling fulfilled and connected to a part of myself that I thought I had lost. My first visit to Springhouse became one of many that left me feeling inspired and alive. I decided to continue to volunteer several times a week until, eventually, I had the opportunity to make Springhouse a full-time work commitment.
Currently, my official title is Financial Manager, but this alone does not define how I am able to show up at work. As I witnessed with the students on my first day, I can show up to work and bring my authentic self with me. I have been a member of the team for about two years, and I feel truly blessed to say that I love coming to work. This does not mean that work is always joyful or easy, but I can be honest when I say that I am continually learning something new about myself and how I show up in the world. Working at Springhouse is challenging, and it requires me to think critically and be radically honest with myself and my community. However, it is these essential components that make me feel vibrantly alive, wildly creative, and love the work that I do.