I Love My Job

Last night, I was reminded of why I love my job so much.

It’s not the pay scale, or the holidays, or the vacation time.

It’s definitely not the hours.

It’s not the job title or the sweet chair at my desk.

And while I love my coworkers, they aren’t the real reason that I do my job.

A young woman came to a financial aid night where I was presenting. Afterwards, she came up to me and told me her story, and asked me what she needed to do. She was a teen mother who had to give up the care of her daughter. Now she’s working six days a week at two jobs and trying to go back to school to get an education so she can care for her child. She had done her research, picked a major and a college, applied for admission, and started applying for financial aid when she hit a roadblock and couldn’t finish filing the FAFSA.

This young woman told me all of this with such an incredible, brave face. I wanted to give her a hug. And I wanted to invite her to come live with me and tell her that I’ll pay for her to go to school and we’ll figure out how to beat the system.

The whole time we were talking, and it was a good thirty minutes, her lower lip was shaking a tiny bit and I thought she might start crying at any second. Hell, I almost started crying.

All I could do, though, was listen to her story and get her contact information and promise that I’ll do whatever I can to help her figure out how to pay for college. This morning, I made a couple of phone calls and found some information and a contact person for her, and sent her an email with what I had found.

She replied: “Thank you so much. I really appreciate all you are doing for me. It means a lot. If I need any more help with anything I will be sure to contact you. Again, Thank You!”

That email brought forth the waterworks. I read the gratitude in her message and was reminded why I love my job, and that while earning a living is important to me, I helped someone who felt helpless, confused, and overwhelmed and put a powerful opportunity into her path. It only took me ten minutes to make those phone calls, but what was so easy for me was a huge obstacle for her.

My mom has always said that she was put on this earth to make a difference in the lives of children, and that has been her purpose. I think mine is to help people like this young woman. It’s funny, but the older I get, the more I realize that my own happiness depends on my ability to help someone else.

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  1. Diane Tadehara

     /  November 2, 2011

    I’m sure your mother is terribly proud of you. I knew a mom who used to pray every day that the right people be put in the paths of her children. You have become one of those people that mothers pray for. Keep up the good work! xoxo


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