Updated: Mar 11, 2019
My first week on Enders Island could not have been more ideal! Everyone knows that being the new kid on the block is tough, because you become a foreign variable in a somewhat constant environment. However, I was welcomed very quickly and have been able to meet some of the most polite and genuine people I have ever met. The Enders community is very open, which is nice because it allows for an immediate and deeper understanding of someone you have just met. I am aware that the residents have been in dark places in the past, however, if they are on the Island they have acknowledged their demons and are actively trying to recover from the events from their troubled past. In my life, I have thankfully not experienced what the residents have, however I am certainly by no means perfect. These young men have a serious illness and are learning ways to overcome their addictions, which will ultimately make them stronger.
Outside of the observations I have made on Enders Island, I have come to the conclusion that living on an island is definitely good for the spirit! The food on the island has been absolutely delicious. I am a senior at St. Michael's College, and college food is college food. So, it is a nice change of pace to enjoy going to every meal! In addition to the outstanding cuisine, this week I was surprised with tickets to the symphony at Lincoln Center in New York City. It seems the Island has tickets to the symphony, and I was lucky enough to be asked to go! After a half day of work, three of us drove to New York to hear some great music. Road trips are always fun, because you always get to know the others in the vehicle a little bit better than before. For instance, I learned more about my supervisor, John Brodeur as well as Shawn Robinson who is responsible for the residents on the Island. After the trip I felt like I got to know him relatively well and I learned why he made the decision to mentor and teach for his life’s work. He is a relatively calm and insightful man, who truly wants to see his residents seek a positive lifestyle. As for myself, I am what they call a “guarded extrovert”, which means that I tend to be reserved until I know the group I am associating with. On the Island, I feel comfortable letting out my inner nerd and am able to tear down some of the barriers that I have put up to protect myself.
As far as my work goes, I am allowed to post on the Island’s social media page and have access to their database; so I feel fortunate that I’m doing something right! When I wake up in the morning I do not feel like I am going to work. Rather, I feel like I am on adventure where I am given daily tasks to take research and complete. I really enjoy being a part of the team that makes Enders Island function on a daily basis. The major project that I have been assigned for the summer is to produce and edit a video that showcases some of the aspects of the Enders Island community. I am currently in the process of filming the in- depth interviews with some of the staff and residents on the Island. With the amount of content that I am collecting, there will be enough for at least three videos. So, I look forward to sharing my work with you towards the end of the summer!