Spring Service Break Reflection: Nia Willis

I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in service activities at the SSND Educational Center in Queens, NY.

During my time at the center, I led a class about mandalas and the meanings of colors. As an aspiring art therapist, teaching and watching students create mandalas and share stories about what they created was very heartening. The stories that they shared illustrated how determined and willing each one of them are to learn and serve others. I have also learned how conversing with someone with a language barrier creates a stronger connection between persons.  Speaking with the women at the center has also broadened my understanding of cultures and traditions and has induced my desire to learn multiple languages.

Spending time with the Sisters is something that I wish I could do more often. Sr. Cathy, Sr.Jean, Sr. Bern and Sr. Eileen made me feel at home during my stay there. They also created a sense of community, with spirituality as the foundation. The morning and evening prayers provided comfort and wisdom throughout my day, as well as a reflective characteristic that prepared me to see how I could improve. Comfortability within a community has been a facet of my life that I have been searching for, and the Sisters have shown me that such a community is attainable. Living with them has also shown me that in order to find such communities, I have to be willing to step out of my comfort zone.

Nia Willis
Notre Dame of Maryland University ’19