HOW I GOT HERE
My name is Jocelyn Kirk and I am so excited to start this journey! I am a native of Louisville, KY, and I know bluegrass runs deep in my veins. I have two very supportive and silly parents, Mike and Maureen, who have let me pursue whatever dream I want, as long as it is logical and fun. My father works as a lawyer for P.C.(U.S.A.)—he calls himself a lawyer for Jesus—and has been subtly encouraging me towards being a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) since I learned what it was. So guess who was delighted when I informed him of my application to the program?
My mother is equally thrilled about my involvement in YAV because she has always supported my choice to expand my horizons. And, of course, both my parents are happy to use me as an excuse to visit one of their favorite cities in the upcoming year. My brother, Duncan, is a YAV alum and spent his year in the program in the Philippines experiencing the culture and working with organizations to support the population after the typhoon hit the country in 2013/2014.
After I graduated high school in 2011 I moved to Michigan to Alma College for the four year program in education. I have known I wanted to be a teacher since about sixth grade and Alma is known for their education program. I spent four wonderful, crazy, stressful years pursuing my dream and experiencing what most call the best years of your life. I majored in Secondary Education and English with a minor in Math. As I progressed through school I met so many fantastic people, made lifelong friends, and worked over a hundred hours in the classroom to better understand the world I was pursuing.
Being a YAV never fully crossed my mind until I began student teaching in a local school near my college the fall of my senior year. I taught 120 kids each day in both Math and English and quickly figured out what the world of a teacher looks like. But having interactions with my students each day led me into the thought process of seeing the educational world from a different standpoint than the one I had been studying for years. It was that thought process and my strong understanding of the life-changing power of the YAV program that led me to applying.
I graduated Alma College with Honors in English in April 2015 with the knowledge that I would be moving to New Orleans at the end of the summer. I moved back to Louisville for the summer and am eagerly awaiting my departure into the new, unique world that the YAV program has set up for me. I will be teaching Adult Literacy through the YMCA YES! Program and I hope that you will help support me through my year away, whether that is through financial support, sharing of New Orleans stories, or simply reading my blog. I am truly blessed to see that I can combine my passion of education with my passion of service and faith to help others and push me towards finding my vocation.