I grew up loving Mercy Home. I grew up sending my wonderful parents all dressed up to Ringside every fall. I grew up handing out shamrock pins during the month of March. I grew up loving Mercy Home because I had heard about all it does for young people and their families. Loving Mercy Home for all that I heard was easy.
It wasn’t until I became an intern in Admissions the summer between my sophomore and junior years of college that I started to love the Mercy Home I got to see in action. I was only at Mercy a few times a week that summer and was given small tasks to complete, but what I was exposed to solidified my track for the rest of my college career as well as my desire to do a year of service post-graduation.
January of my senior year at the University of Dayton, I committed to join my 15 roommates in a year of Mercy Works.
This year I have seen the most important parts of Mercy Home: the workers. The staff in Youth Programs, The Academy, Reception, AfterCare, Friends First, Facilities, Organizational Development, Advancement, the Kitchen, and my team in Admissions who all work tirelessly every day for one mission- the youth.
As a case manager in Admissions, I have had the opportunity to see many aspects of Mercy Home in action. I see the effort, passion and love each of these coworkers put into every single person who walks into our front doors. Not every day at Mercy Home is a good day, but I can tell you that there is something good in every day.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to meet truly resilient youth and families who come to Mercy Home for help and who get that help whether it is a bed for their child and support for the family, or a name and number for a more appropriate resource. I have been extremely humbled each day a family shares a part of their story with me.
I remember meeting an 11 year old boy whose desperate mother brought him in for his first meeting. He had a number of red flags and had a rocky start here at Mercy Home, but program took on this challenge, knowing that he needed our help. Staff has rallied around him and the strides he has made here are incredible. Seeing him in the hallways as a contributing member to this community and hearing of his successes in program are reminders that even the most difficult cases are worth it.
I feel even more blessed to be surrounded by people who really believe in what Mercy Home is doing for our youth and families. While I am not in Youth Programs every day, I get to hear from my roommates about the hard work that is being done there. When I meet with a family for the first time, I am so grateful that I can genuinely assure them that their child will be in good hands.
“Growing up I never thought Mercy Home for Boys and Girls would become such a huge part of my life. This challenging, rewarding, humbling year has made me grow and change. It will forever have an impact on me. I am incredibly grateful to have spent the most challenging year of my life thus far at an amazing agency.”
I have never really been good at embracing transitions in my life. I am really good at moving quickly from one thing to the next. My year of Mercy Works is rapidly coming to an end with only a couple months left. I have had 15 incredible, unique and intelligent people pushing me, molding me, teaching me and supporting me. Yes, I am excited for whatever is next for the 16 of us, but what I really want is to soak in each day I have left here. I want to enjoy this time, my community and coworkers while it is still here and now.
Growing up I never thought Mercy Home for Boys and Girls would become such a huge part of my life. This challenging, rewarding, humbling year has made me grow and change. It will forever have an impact on me. I am incredibly grateful to have spent the most challenging year of my life thus far at an amazing agency. I have learned that it is much easier to love Mercy Home from afar, but it is much more fulfilling to love Mercy Home in action.