My name is Alexis and my first volunteer experience with Utopia was so unlike anything I have ever seen. It was a ceremony dedicated to reducing the attraction of violence to a seemingly trivial lot in a labeled dangerous, yet live neighborhood in Chicago. We “beautified” the land to show that there can be life and rebirth in things that we least expect. Beautiful butterflies were released and flowers were planted. A prayer was said, and people of the community were welcomed as they passed by- in hopes that we could come together to begin saving our city’s most at risk parts and building a better tomorrow for ourselves and our youth.
This experience is one I will never forget because I remember being so happy to be there. In my heart I felt like there was much more I could do and that this was just a start. It also opened my eyes to a community I was unfamiliar with, and proved to me that my city is one big community. It just takes is a few determined and strong minded individuals to get together and have one great idea or several great ideas combined. Volunteering at this specific event proved to me that anything is possible and that you must serve your community. Service to your community is something that has to happen if we want to see change. We have to love and build our own homes if we want transformation to happen. We must be the change we want to see.