Today’s guest blog is from Maddison Bruer, who we will be hearing from periodically on our blog this summer as she updates us on her work with Bridges of Norman.
Hello everybody! My name is Maddison Bruer and I’ve been given the opportunity this summer to share a little bit about myself and a project I am working on this summer with you on the Alliance’s blog.
First, a bit about myself: I am finishing up my first year at The George Washington University studying International Affairs and Psychology. Home for me is Norman, Oklahoma. When I was in first grade my class had “career day” where every first grader wrote a story about what he or she wanted to be when they were all grown up. I said police officer. Those dreams of serving in the public sector have followed me into my adulthood as I take steps to one day work for the CIA or State Department. If I fail at said aspirations, I’ve vowed that I will move to Miami and join the police academy. I love the heat anyway. Right now, I’m living part of my dream by interning for the Peace Corps and working with a committee to revamp the Volunteer application and delivery system. After months of living and breathing Peace Corps, I’m realizing the vast opportunities that could come from continuing that relationship as a Volunteer myself, after college of course.
Getting to where I am now, however, was not a path without trolls, slimy slugs, and mountains to overcome. After raising me as a single parent, my mother fell into a relationship that led her to become entangled in a situation full of illegal activities. Such a lifestyle landed her in jail and me without a home. I couch surfed for a few months before landing in an abandon trailer trying to support myself and make it to school. After my school counselor noticed a shift in my home life, she offered me information on a youth homeless shelter called Bridges of Norman where I found myself living for three years before coming to college in DC. Bridges offered me experiences and support I will never be able to repay. I’m a strong believer in the notion that it takes a village to raise a child. My entire community helped me raise myself by my bootstraps and fulfill my dream of higher education.
Recently I won the 2012 J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Public Service Award that awards $5,500 for tuition to a student who proposes a quality internship undertaking and demonstrates a passion for public service. In a way to give back to my community, I have decided to become an intern for Bridges conducting research on graduates of the program. Thus, hopefully I will be able to get an insight on students’ success in the long run after enduring such conditions. In addition, I hope that my presence will be a positive influence for those students currently in the program and enable to help the Bridges staff, my community, and other students with stories similar to my own.
Until next time,