Anthony Mensah | DC Reads

It’s interesting how things change. The person who goes into service, isn’t necessarily the person who comes out of it, and I see myself changing every day. Oddly enough, I moved back and forth between what I wanted to do this semester and what I could do. And I don’t just mean that as far as CSLP is concerned, I mean that throughout life in college. Honestly, an extra credit sounded appealing, I knew it would be a challenge, but this semester I was up for challenges. I wanted to take on an issue that’s bothered me for so long. The wrongful, unbalanced, and often unfair imprisonment and treatment of those responsible for committing acts of crime. I wanted to hear stories, work with others who chose paths that could have very easily become mine, and I wanted to grow, maybe find a passion and purpose. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out in the way that we plan.

Last semester I worked for DC Reads, a mentorship program that develops and encourages literacy among inner-city children. What started as a job, had ended up as a bright spot in the hectic and unsure world that is college. When my initial goal of trying to serve and learn from those who had made mistakes was no longer as simple as I thought it was, I re-focused. DC Reads became my new primary site, and I can say that I love being back. I love working with the kids, I love that they get to know me and I get to know them, and it’s nice knowing I have just a little bit of a positive impact on their lives. And it’s not just them, I love working with the staff who really do care, and my fellow mentors who have often fallen as deeply in love with the community we serve as I have. It truly is great. I now look at my service this semester and have learned, that in place of reflecting on the past and the paths that could’ve changed my life through others, why not try to help those younger than me choose paths that help than become much better than I am?


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