Prelude: Atina Rizk

Towards the end of my graduate school experience, there was a sudden and palpable sense of desperation as everyone began to look for a job. Not a summer job, not a seasonal job wrapping gifts, but an actual grownup job with benefits and career prospects and, gasp, a salary. I counted myself lucky because I got to bypass all of that, having been selected to be a direct commissionee into the Army JAG Corps.

My primary goal in joining the Army is to help people, soldiers, who are going through some of the most challenging times of their lives as they defend and protect our country. Also, I would get a chance to do the same. What I did not realize is that, nothing happens quickly when the government is involved, so I have to wait. I have to wait for orders, boot camp, and JAG school. It feels like I am waiting for my life to start, and although I fully acknowledge that I am being dramatic, sometimes you can’t help what you feel.

Waiting leaves me with many empty days. Before, I filled them by studying for the TN bar exam, which is not something to be trifled with, but now I wait for news of my score in addition to the Army things. Meanwhile, I still want to help people. I still want to be the change that I wish to see, and volunteering is perfect for that. You become fulfilled knowing that you have lessened the burden on someone else, even for a moment. I am excited for Volunteer Odyssey because while I have spent some time volunteering in the Memphis community, I have never gotten to experience such a wide variety of activities in such a short period. Here’s to what tomorrow brings!

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