Volunteer Name: Nancy E. Figuereo
Alma Mater: College of the Holy Cross
Site Placement: Sarah Garland Jones Center, Bon Secours Richmond
Who has modeled being ‘good help to those in need’ in your life? Describe why you are inspired by this person.
When I think of role models that may have carried the same values and mission of the Sisters of Bon Secours I immediately think of the lineage of women that I come from. As each generation builds onto the next, I have had the privilege to witness my grandmothers, mother, and myself interact together. When noticing the altruistic love and compassion these women have for their family members and people they interact with, I have been moved to act in the same way. The most engrained moment for me was when I found my mother sifting through her clothes and making a donation pile. Since my family members are immigrants, we usually send resources back to our home country, the Dominican Republic. When I was asking my mother about who and why she was gathering clothes, she mentioned that it was actually for a person she just met. She told me that this individual just lost all of their assets and was starting to get into a very bad and serious situation. Moved by this, she took from her own resources, assessing what she felt like stopped serving her, and gathered it to give to a person she believed could benefit from it more. My mother proceeded to explain to me that my grandmother would do similar acts with food for the working people in her neighborhood. My grandmother would cook extra meals, and distribute it to people that were working day in and day out in the streets of Baní City. As I reflect on the acts of true kindness that my family has done, I will continue to live their legacy through my own acts of kindness.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
“You only have to know what you’re going to do during the next 2-3 years.” Over the summer of 2019 after graduating college, I was listening to a panel of leaders speak on their stories. One of the panelists said this statement, and to remember this later, I wrote it down. I didn’t anticipate the change these words would do to my life. I began to stop looking so much ahead into the future, and began to incorporate my present into my immediate future. Overall, it has helped me view life in a very different manner. My mind shifted from looking ahead at a larger goal to focusing on the more immediate steps to get there. Through this shift, I have been more specific in thinking about what I want out of life. I have started following my heart along with my mind. This mind shift has helped me consider my whole self when navigating my passions and motivations as I make decisions towards a purposeful life. This process is actually what made me realize that I wanted to do a year of service before going back to school or entering the workforce. Ultimately, the invitation to be in agape to the unknown long term future has given me the opportunity to enjoy the present moment in front of me, as well as to put my entire self in anything I do.