Today I reached 1,000 hours towards my AmeriCorps requirement of 1700 hours over the course of my term of service. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service’s website, “Since the program’s founding in 1994, more than 800,000 AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1 billion hours in service across America.”

I have earned by 1000 hours since last September. 1000 hours or 41 days or 60,000 minutes.

One thousand hours spent working at a large Florida high school, 1000 hours spent tutoring students in English, math, science and geography, 1000 hours spent maintaining order in a classroom or balancing the fine line between helpful friend and authoritative foe, 1000 hours spent listening to weird jokes and learning teenager slang, 1000 hours spent checking smartphones and writing passes and arguing about missing homework, 1000 hours spent listening to students frustrations with parents, relationships and money, 1000 hours spent at a school that has lost several students this year, 1000 hours spent with kids who have lost several friends, 1000 hours spent at a school whose football team was almost state champions, 1000 hours spent with 200 students every day.

One thousand hours spent serving the immigrant population of Apopka, 1000 hours spent teaching GED classes, 1000 spent re-learning the difference between demonstrative and relative pronouns, 1000 hour spent re-learning how to multiple fractions and do long division by hand, 1000 hours spent learning bits and pieces of broken Spanish, 1000 hours of listening to the stories of young migrant workers and impoverished senior citizens, 1000 hours spent providing snacks and coloring pages to children whose parents came to learn.

One thousand hours spent with two little boys whose parents couldn’t help them with their homework, 1000 hours spent watching the boys wiggle and lose teeth and improve their reading levels, 1000 hours spent rushing from point A to point B with a pit-stop at point D, 1000 hours spent out of the house, practically living out of my car, 1000 hours spent stressed and happy, 1000 hours spent with new friends and good people, 1000 hours spent learning boundaries, 1000 hours spent improving my skill set and discovering new abilities, 1000 hours spent re-thinking choices, 1000 hours spent learning new cultures and new perspectives, 1000 hours spent engaged with the world, 1000 hours spent serving, 1000 hours spent “tackling pressing problems,” 1000 hours spent making a difference.

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