New Clean Water Fund (CWF) RFP timeline for 2025 projects! RFP application opens June 1, 2024.

2020: A Year of Growth

by Sidney Hauck, Recruitment Capacity Building Specialist/ AmeriCorps Member with Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa through the Individual Placement program

My life has never been what I expected. Every time I have an idea of what I want to do for the rest of my life, I find a new idea of what I want to do for the next few years. This used to worry me. I worried that I would never find my true calling and find a job I wanted to be in for the rest of my life. But if my time at Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa has taught me anything it’s that I will always be learning. I will always be learning about the world of opportunities available and I will always be learning more about myself.

I’ve spent most of the time since I’ve been out of college regretting what I majored in. I used to think that everyone just majored in what they loved and worked in that career the rest of their life. Maybe that works out for some people, but that’s definitely not the path my life has taken or will go. I majored in computer science because I enjoyed doing it and I used to beat myself up that I didn’t discover what I truly loved. But if I hadn’t majored in computer science, I wouldn’t have realized that I love human connections and creativity in my work and that the software developing jobs weren’t going to be fulfilling for me. I could sit and worry that I wasted those three years getting my bachelors, but I need to remind myself of all the lessons I learned and how I can still use what I learned in the future.

As I talked about in one of my former blog posts, generalists triumph in a specialized world. At this point, I don’t think I’ll be a specialist in any one topic, but rather a generalist, and my time here at CCMI has only strengthened that statement. I’ve learned many lessons here at CCMI that will help me in any career I pursue such as public speaking and other communication skills. This year of service hasn’t been what I expected, but no one’s 2020 has been. Adapting to the working from home and not attending the recruitment events I had been busy with before; I have used this time to learn more through online courses. I’ve finished a specialization in graphic design from the California Institute of Arts and in the process of a specialization in digital marketing from University of Illinois all through Coursera. This online learning has expanded my knowledge base and I probably wouldn’t be taking these if 2020 had gone as planned. I have also learned a lot through helping with social media and communications here at CCMI and have loved every minute of the opportunities I’ve had.

All of this to say, there’s a lot of bad things I could say about 2020; but it’s been a great year of growth and I never want to stop growing. My life path isn’t complete and I’m only paving it as I go.