Great Story: John

John was one of my first students, and quickly became one of my favorites. I met him shortly after starting my term with AmeriCorps; he was a missed phone call when I was out of the library. All I knew about him prior to our first appointment was that he had worked with the previous AmeriCorps member, so I knew he had some experience, but was unsure how much. I decided to start from scratch with a “computer basics” lesson, that was almost immediately thrown out the window. I met John, and he had a list of goals

he wanted to accomplish, and that set the standard for our meetings for the rest of the year.

John is a very goal-oriented student; he likes accomplishing specific tasks. We meet weekly, and he has his notepad, or papers that he printed off at home, and we sit down and go through how to navigate specific websites, print off certain documents, etc. Sometimes we have to go over the same topics multiple weeks in a row, but he definitely leaves each session having learned something new.

I appreciate all of my students, but John is definitely my favorite kind of student. As a person, he’s friendly, he’s understanding, he’s punctual, and always open to discussion. As a student, he’s confident, and better yet, he’s persistent. Specifically, one week, he called in because he couldn’t turn on his desktop monitor. We went through the basic troubleshooting tasks, and still no change. I told him I would do some research and call him back, but in the time it took me to look around, he had fixed it himself; he tried different wires, and found a loose plug in the back. When John encounters a problem, he doesn’t give up until he finds a solution, and that’s a quality that I respect and admire. And it’s people like him that make serving so worthwhile.

-Austin Gilbert