A Protege's Perspective - Alan Monzalvo

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    Being a Link Year student last year was one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  I connected the bridge between my beliefs and my desire to serve God through my faith.  In a few simpler words, I made my faith my own.  I gained more understanding from God then I have ever before.  Nevertheless, I have realized that last year was mostly about myself: my time to be taught, my place to be developed, and my responsibility to learn.  Other than the Urban Entry and Link Year Gives Back weeks, being a student had a self-centered approach for me.  This year, everything has changed as I’ve stepped into a new role as a Protege.  Reality and realization hit me like a truck: Most of my friends have entered into the real world, my faith’s “honeymoon stage” has come to an end, and the room for personal growth is to be sought out on my own.  My mentors are no longer there to remind me of our weekly appointments, and accountability no longer takes place on Mondays from 10:45 to 11:45.  I still belong to the program, but the opportunities to practice what I have learned as a student are multiplied by a hundred.  Being a protege is challenging, but I wouldn't change where I was last year for anything.  There’s always someone in need, and there’s always a task that needs to be accomplished.  The heartbeat of a Protege is to see needs as opportunities to serve, as a chance to become a servant, expecting nothing in return.  Most of the time, nobody is there to see what you do and give you a pat on the back or a thumbs up.  Most of what you do is appreciated but also expected, because you are at Link Year to serve.  God has used this year to bring me from one life stage to another, and I am very excited to finish strong, to be a light for Him to the world, and to make the most out of my time.