If you were to live a day in the life of Hannah Webster, you would quickly realize how much joy and excitement she has for life. You would constantly find yourself day-dreaming and thinking of any and all possible experiences life has to offer…
Whenever I find myself embarking on a new journey, I am filled with an incredible sense of excitement and passion. Social justice and Sociology has always been something I identify well with. This is probably the top reason I am super pumped about this upcoming year of service. I love taking on social work opportunities as well as adding the communities that could use some more attention. I am eager to participate in activities that enhance my understanding and passion for social justice initiatives.
I am also very passionate about growth. I think one of the most important things that people can do is to get out in the world and learn about the different possibilities that life has to offer. Educating oneself is such an important tool for moving forward and interacting with one another. That is why I get so excited to experience a new opportunity. It means that I will grow and learn so much about not only myself, but also the rest of the world. To me, that is one of the coolest things our journey on earth has to offer. If we chose to, we can move forward and gain more understanding.
Ironically I started (kind of) packing today, as I am sending some winter-ish items along with my
grandparents who are visiting my family (who lives in LA) in June. In a way, I have started
packing because I am currently figuring out what clothes I will want to take with me during the
EUIP year, which clothes I will leave at home, and what items I can donate/give away.
When it comes down to the actual packing of my suitcase, I most likely won’t start that until the
week before I leave. There is a high chance I will want to wear some of the clothing items I am
taking to LA within the days prior to leaving. I am definitely trying to prepare myself for a
“minimalistic” way of life. I’ve done it once before, so I know I can do it again. I also have started
trying to “de-clutter” as much as possible in order to rid myself of any unwanted, anxious feelings
I may have in my living space.
Through all the preparations and anticipation for the upcoming year, I am also attempting to
prepare myself for the people and places that I will miss. My hardest “till next time” will be towards
my family and friends. It is always hard for me to leave behind the people who know me the best.
My family will especially be hard, because I am used to only living 3 hours from home. With this,
I’m able to go home and visit when I please without too much thought or money. Being on the
total opposite side of the country will be difficult. My maternal grandparents have also moved in
to my parents’ house within the past year, so it will be difficult leaving them as well, since they
moved in part to be closer to my sister and me.
I am looking forward to spending time together over the holidays when my family comes to visit
me. Luckily, I will be close to my aunt, uncle, and cousin in LA, so I will have some familiarity.
I am definitely going to miss the countryside and small town vibes. This is something I am trying
to savor in each moment that I live and breathe on the east coast. Aside from the previous three
months that I spent living in Los Angeles, I have never lived in a big city. I’ve always lived in a
small town. It wasn’t until this past October, that I even moved into “the city” for work. Still, moving
15 minutes from the countryside hasn’t been much of a culture shock; as my current city of
residence, Erie, PA, has a total population of only 97,369. It is a small city compared to those
around it and especially compared to Los Angeles.
Although I have adapted comfortably, there will always be a part of me that is a country girl at
heart. Being able to walk into a place and know everyone or see regulars come into your place of
work and striking up a conversation will be something that I will definitely miss. I feel like there is
always a place to hide and have some time to reflect for me in the country.
I was raised in small country towns with lots of land and wildlife. I will miss waking up to that in my
backyard. Although I don’t hear them any more living in the city, I will miss the “peepers” (summer
frogs) at night. I will miss seeing the dark blue sky and stars at night and the clear warm blue sky
during the day. I will miss kayaking and swimming in ponds. I will miss lunch with my Uncle at the
local hometown dinner. I will (possibly) miss the snow and other winter activities, although it won’t
be high on my list. ;) I will miss my job waitressing at the outdoor restaurant which is right on the
water. My coworkers and costumers always make the day so enjoyable. Plus the view is
In my current season, I feel very grounded and strong although, I believe I have more to
experience and more to learn. I am very self aware, but I am working on taking better care of
myself. I tend to be a person more gracious towards other people than myself. Over the past year
and a half I have noticed this more and more. Self-care is a priority I hope to manage well by the
end of my Jubilee Year. I would like to confidently say that I could manage being gracious to
others while also being gracious to myself in the same regard. I have experienced friends and
other individuals taking me for granted and that is not something that I wish to continue. I value
myself and have finally developed the kind of confidence I had always wished for. It is my hope
that after Jubilee Year, I will gain more confidence in my endeavors. I have strong desires to learn
more about social injustices and inequalities that surround our nation’s daily life.
I am incredibly excited to widen my understanding of different people groups including races,
ethnicities, genders, and religions. Although I have a decent level of understanding, it is my desire
to fully hear from the voices we don’t often hear enough. I would LOVE to learn more about the
transgender community or how life differs for people of color on the east coast verses the west
coast. I am eager to learn more about people’s religious practices and experience what it means
By going through my experience as a EUIP-JYLA participant, I hope to be a bridge for those
around me to gain more insight and understanding as to how others live. I hope to share what I
learn to others and see how my impact can benefit them.
All in all, I feel very bittersweet about these next few months. Part of me is so eager to jump on a
plane and head right over. The other half is trying to take things slow and embrace the moments I
have here now. I don’t want to have any regrets or miss out on the opportunities that are right in
front of me. There are people that I care about whom I am not ready to move away from quite yet.
As each excitement and challenge comes, I take it in with a deep breath and remember that the
day will soon come.
Voices of Service
These are reflections from corps members and alumni of Jubilee Year and the Episcopal Urban Intern Program. They cover topics ranging from the sun, fun and friends in in Los Angeles to the uncensored experiences of serving vulnerable populations in our beautiful city. These are Voices of Service. For more, go through our archives below