Members of the Colorado Springs Service Adventure unit take a break during a hike.  Left to right:  Franzi Klause, Anna Koehler, Meg Smeltzer Miller, Anali North Martin and Sarah Balzer"  Photo taken by Daniel Miller. Click on image for high resolution version.​

By Sarah Balzer
Thursday, April 28, 2016

New places
Colorado Springs is only a seven-hour drive away from home for me. I'd been here numerous times before. However, living here is an entirely different experience – and one that I absolutely love. The "big city" has been a change for me, coming from such a small town, but it's great! There's always something to do! Service Adventure is a great way to get out and see a different part of the country.
 
Job experience
Before this year, I hadn't had a real 9-5 job. Going into it, I wasn't sure how I'd like it, but I love it! I can't speak for everyone, but I think they did a great job with our work placements – we have jobs that fit us well, and that we enjoy. I also really appreciate my co-workers; they are so much fun to work with and always make me feel appreciated. On top of all of that, working for 10 months at a nonprofit is a great addition to a resume.
 
You gain a second family
After the first few weeks of getting-to-know-you conversations and the initial slight awkwardness that comes along with moving in with people you don't really know, our unit quickly became close. We enjoy our time together and laugh a lot, and my unit mates have definitely become my second family. I try to avoid thinking about leaving them.
 
You gain a new perspective
I don't think I can name all the things that have changed about me since I came to Colorado, but the combination of a new place, working with those in a homeless situation, meeting a ton of new people, and going to an entirely new church has caused me to change the way I think, the way I live, and some of the things that are important to me. I feel as though I will leave Colorado Springs a more educated person even though I haven't attended school for the past year.

For anyone thinking of joining Service Adventure, I can't promise that you'll have the same experience I have had. There will be times when you want to yell at your housemates (like when they won't stop snoring), and there will be some days where work seems to last forever, but I would still recommend this experience for almost anyone. This year has been such a blessing to me, and I am so thankful I made the decision to take a year off and give Service Adventure a try.

 

 

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Sarah Balzer is a 2015-2016 Service Adventure participant from Inman, Kansas. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and serves at Family Promise of Colorado Springs.

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