Let me introduce you to the old Radhika mentality. Entering my first year of college, I truly epitomized an ignorant soul. Of course I knew that San Francisco was amazing. I also thought that homeless people were detrimental to society, and that kids who attended schools in rugged neighborhoods often failed to succeed in displaying motivation, therefore considering them as, “the sore thumbs,” and, “the rough patch in free education.” How a simple three months can change a mindset. I remember Professor Gonzalez initially introducing the service learning aspect of this course to the class, and the excitement that enveloped my body was surreal. I truly was and still am passionate about volunteering, and I was anxious to see what I could do in this cosmopolitan city. Looking down the list of potential places, West Bay automatically appealed the most to me, and I knew that was where I wanted to leave my imprint in the San Franciscan community.

While working at West Bay for over a period of three months, I allowed myself enough time to experience the different strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats West Bay epitomized. Even the best organizations can never be ideal, for progression is impossible without failures. My primary experience of West Bay was an endeavor. With a small sense of direction in this big city, the wrong bus stop and the Tenderloin engraved their horrific memories into my head, and when finally arriving upon West Bay, I was second-guessing ever coming back there again. However, things changed the minute I met Vivian and her coworkers. Not only were they inviting and gentle, they engaged in immediate conversation with me, and made me feel so welcome and wanted in the volunteer community. From then on out, their actions and dedication reflected in everything they accomplished with the kids, seniors, volunteers, and even other staff members.

West Bay offers an after school youth program, in which they pro…

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