Chandra shares a service story for March 2017 on helping out MI Student Aid. You can learn more about MI Student Aid on their website.

Sometimes the hardest part of a new journey is getting started. Since beginning 4 Years of Service I have been working to find how I could help. I tell my children that every person has a talent - we may not be good at everything, but everyone has something they are good at. We should use that talent to help others.

I wanted to start my service journey as a way to focus on the positive rather than the negative. I could continue to read article after article of negativity or I could think of positive ways to help others and hope that positivity would spread.

My first trial was connecting with the right service opportunity. I am a working mom in the middle of a huge long-term work project. Between working, raising my children, and taking care of my home time is a challenge, but I am committed to serve.

I thought about my talents. How can I help others? I wished I had a talent like my father of being able to build anything. He is always helping others with fixing a roof or home repairs. I have worked in college financial aid since May 2006. I also have experience in multimedia and training.

I reached out to a couple of friends of mine who work for our state grants and scholarships office to see if they knew of any ways I could help students, parents or others. I was excited when they responded that they are working on publications to help high school counselors understand the financial aid process and they would love to have a subject matter expert review their materials and share ideas.

I am looking forward to volunteering and assisting to create materials that will hopefully, in tern, help not only high school counselors, but students and parents trying to navigate this challenging process that can greatly impact a student's ability to attend college.

How to Get Involved

My challenge to others would be to think about what they enjoy and are good at. Don't worry about whether it is helpful enough. You never know how you might impact another. Whether it is physical or intellectual  - there is a way you can serve. The other is to carve out a time in your calendar to complete your service and set a calendar reminder. Best wishes!

Service Matches

Were you inspired by this story? Make a matching donation of time, resources or money to MI Student Aid on behalf of Chandra's service journey. You can list your contribution using our Make a Matching Gift of Service form.