PUKA Painting By Maria Ross

PUKA Library Bookcase

     As a fellow mentee with Jessica, I had the opportunity to give back to my community this past weekend at the PUKA School childcare center here in Carbondale. While Jessica was planning this project, she approached me and asked for my help in one specific area. She planned to complete two different projects in one day: repainting a bookcase in the library and making a new roof for a shed located outside in the school yard. Unfortunately, due to the bad weather on the day of the project, the shed group was postponed. I was put in charge of the bookcase repainting, however, which we were able to do. Since Jessica no longer had two separate teams to lead, her and I worked together in leading the painting group.                                                                                                                         This was a helpful experience for me because I do not think that I am quite ready to lead a project like this on my own. Therefore, it was wonderful leading it under Jessica and having her as a safety net. Leading a project is a big responsibility, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to dip my toes into leading a service project before being put in complete charge of my own project. Jessica and I sat down before the project to plan everything out, discuss what materials we would need, talk about proper painting techniques, and come up with ideas on how this project can move smoothly while obtaining excellence. It seemed that if we did run into an unexpected problem, the team constantly worked to find solutions on their own. In the end, the bookshelf turned out really well!                –     I was happy with the outcome and happy to leave the PUKA School knowing the children will now have organized books on a freshly painted shelf that better compliments the rest of the library. It really is a rewarding experience to be able to help out children in our community, especially in an educational setting, as I plan to be a future educator myself. I cannot wait to use the skills I acquired through helping Jessica lead this project and apply them to my own project someday.