I am my “best self” and most fulfilled when I engage in public service and volunteer work. Rather than dwell on my frustrations in battling diabetes and breast cancer, I chose to focus on others and serve as an acolyte at the Wednesday Healing Service and help at church blood drives. For five years I have served as a Kane County Election Judge and I also have tutored ESL students. By participating in the non-profit Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley, I have helped adults learn to read, write, understand and speak English, and better assimilate to life here in Kane County. Last summer, I prepared an Iranian student for his citizenship test and interview through civic lessons and quizzes. Tutoring has been my response to the question: “Why can’t they learn the language,” and has provided opportunities to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. My past public service experiences have lead me to interact with the same disenfranchised peoples we help at Administer Justice and the Low Income Tax Clinic. The underprivileged, elderly, disabled, veterans, domestic abuse victims, and immigrants. Those with little ability to access legal advice, and even less to pay tax assessments and penalties. They are overwhelmed by tax controversies and legal burdens. Working at the LITC has allowed me to devote a generous amount of time to these clients; to get to know them, earn their trust and confidence, and work to resolve their IRS disputes. Rather than focus on materiality or lament on misfortunes, I am very thankful for my time spent in public service, learning lessons in maturity, tolerance, perseverance, compassion, and love.
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