Hello all, thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog. This is for me to talk about my experiences in South Korea beginning this fall through the PCUSA Young Adult Volunteer program. I can talk a little bit on how I got to this point, if you wanna stick around for a spell.
A little about me…I’m Will, about 22 years old and a graduate of the University of Arkansas with degrees in History and Classical Studies (the study of Ancient Greece and Rome). I was born in Colorado just outside of Denver, and grew up in Bentonville, Arkansas since I was about 3. Both states mean a lot to me and hold family, friends and places dear to my heart, and it is hard to leave them both behind for a whole year. But, as my father has told me through many coming of age metaphors, its time to head over the ridge and check it out for a time. I started at the U of A in 2011 and will miss it quite a bit. I met some of the brightest and warmest people on this planet, if I can say so, at the U of A and got a top-notch education in school and life. I have been working at a Game Design Lab at the university for the last couple years. There I have learned about 3D environments and game play, and how using these tools can create an incredibly effective and immersive experience. Here’s a link to their site if you’re interested, they are on the cutting edge of education in my humble opinion and a rockin’ group of people.
I decided to participate in the YAV program in my final year as an undergraduate at the University of Arkansas. I want to go to graduate school for Classical Studies eventually, but I need a change of pace to see what’s out in the big wide world. I seek a different kind of education, one where I learned through service to others and the Presbyterian Church, and through exploring my personal faith in Jesus Christ. I learned about YAV through my campus ministry at the U of A, the UCM (United Campus Ministry). They have provided a fabulous network of love and support throughout the tough years of college by keeping the church a part of my life with different forms of worship. Therefore, I YAV.
Getting selected to go to Korea was pretty unexpected. I didn’t really know much about the site, but decided to include it in my group of discernment choices. I think my exact train of thought was “Eh, sounds cool. Why not?” As I learned more about the site, I began getting more excited about the work being done. Being a Classics major I never studied the history or culture of Asia in-depth, Greece and Rome were plenty. Over the summer I have learned more and more about the region and Korea in particular, and the US involvement over there specifically in the past century. It’s quite a place, and I am very grateful to have this opportunity to become a part of the community in Daejeon where I will be serving. If you wanna know more about the site, here is a link to their site that describes it.
I appreciate all the support I have already received from my family and friends back home, and the incredible staff at the YAV program as well as the class of volunteers this year. It’s gonna be a good year y’all, I can feel it.
Part of this program requires that I raise $4,000 to help cover the individual cost of travel, lodging and a basic living stipend. On top of that, there is a team goal of an additional $4,000 per YAV to keep the program sustainable for the future. Through the support of my local congregation, family, and loved ones, I have already raised over half of my individual goal and I am very grateful for their support. I am asking y’all reading for support, however it suits you best. Be it thinking good vibes, a supportive message, a picture of a cat on Facebook, care packages, prayers, a picture of two cats on Facebook or monetary donation. However you like, I greatly appreciate it. If you would like to donate, you can go to the “Donate Online” link below, read the cute little bio and click on the link on that page that says “Support William”, and then the “Make a Donation” link. You’ll be donating to Position 10 in Korea, which is my position. While you’re on the YAV website I recommend checking out all the other volunteers and seeing their stories, you won’t regret it. If the web ain’t your style you can send a check to the address below with my name and ECO number (it’s below the address next to my name) which works just as fine.
Presbyterian Church (USA)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700
William Loder, E210910
I’m making a promise to myself and to you, the audience, to keep up this blog with about 1-2 posts a month about my experience. I’ll put out another post in the next couple of days about my work placement so that can be the focal point of that post, and writing about all sorts of information and experiences during my service year. So if you like it stick around, there’s more to come.