Name: Joshua Rodriguez
Host Site: Breakthrough Providence
Where did you go to school? Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex for High School and Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina
What are your personal and professional interests? Personally I am a complete musical nerd; I’m an instrumentalist, I love to compose my own music, and I enjoy video game music a lot! There are many great composers in the world of video games; check out the soundtrack to final fantasy 10 and that will prove it to you. Professionally I love to teach, especially music. I support the arts in any kind of education system.
If you could have any super power, what would it be? I wish I had the ability to phase through objects by just thinking it.
Tell us your Story of Service (300 – 500 words)
Interestingly enough, the way in which I stumbled across RICC and AmeriCorps*VISTA was by chance. I leave a lot of things in life up to chance but finding a job was not one of those things I voluntarily left to chance. After completing college I was not sure where I would work and was worried. It was not until after expressing my concern to my college advisor that I felt a little comfort. He said he would keep an ear out for any news and that if he hears of any opportunities he will forward them to me. It wasn’t long until I received a phone call from the Executive Director of Breakthrough Providence. I had been in contact with the ED before in completing my service hours for my Bonner Scholar Scholarship the past 2 summers. I thought she was calling me to suggest I become a teacher, at that point I would have said yes to that not only because I needed something to do but because I always wanted to teach there. Instead she called saying our mutual friend had called her asking if she was still hiring for her VISTA position. Lucky for me she was and I immediately jumped on the opportunity and am so glad I received her call.
I enjoy serving Breakthrough Providence and doing college access work here. The work I have completed here already has taught me so much about the non-profit world, professionalism, networking, the educational system, and more. I have already gained so much from serving this organization and community. The thing I am most excited for is the day I return to Breakthrough Providence and see how the ideas or programs I helped create end up developing. Hopefully to great lengths! As far as being a part of RICC I particularly am most content about this year’s cohort. They are all amazing. We have great personalities that make group meetings worthwhile. We collaborate very well together and that makes for a greater team. I feel as though we are a team that is really seeking to better the community we are serving. Just off of the personal connections I made with other RICC VISTAs I can honestly say how comforting it feels to know there are individuals like this making and effort to assist programs that create change. I have this feeling leading me to think that some of us are motivated by some intrinsic value and not motivated by the small pay check we receive every two weeks. That thought alone became my motivation to continue to serving the city of Providence. Overall, I am glad to have stumbled upon across this opportunity; it was one of those unexpected things in life I didn’t plan to go unexpectedly well! Service has been good for my soul.