WVIK for Augustana Public Radio
Rock Island, IL
This summer I worked at WVIK for APRIS, the Augustana Public Radio Information Service. APRIS is a unique program that offers the news from many different sources to the blind and disabled. Volunteers from all over the Quad City area come in to read many different local newspapers. APRIS has around 170 volunteers helping with this service. The service also requires a special radio device, which brings the APRIS service into the home. APRIS loans these radios out to people who would like to hear the service. Over 3000 individuals subscribe to this free service.
I worked the evening shift, from around 5:30pm to 9pm Mondays through Fridays. During this shift, I met 30-40 amazing volunteers and developed personal relationships with all of them. My responsibilities were to prepare the materials for them to read on air, and to talk with them before their readings began. That was probably my favorite part of the job - talking with people who had amazing life experiences to share. Many of the volunteers were seniors, and so I learned quite a bit about life in the 20th century.
I learned a lot about myself this summer. This was the first time I had lived on my own and that was a difficult adjustment. I experienced a bit of loneliness and depression at times because all of my friends were at home. This was also the first summer where I had worked more than 30 hours a week, which I did between my jobs at the Center for Vocational Reflection (Monday-Thursdays 10:30am-3:30pm) and APRIS (Monday-Fridays 5:30-9pm).
I think my work at APRIS helped me notice a lot of qualities in me that I know are important as far as finding my vocation in life. I love people, and I love talking to people. I don't think I could work a job where I wasn't able to be a social person. I also rediscovered how much I love the radio business. I didn't actually work on-air at WVIK, but it was fun developing relationships with Herb Trix and Alex Keefe and watching them do their jobs. I worked at my local radio station in high school, so radio is a familiar business that I hope will always be a part of my life.
Basically, if I had to put my finger on one thing I got out of this whole experience this summer, I would have to say it is that I'm a very social person and that is really important to me. Talking with the volunteers was a blast. Learning about what life was like in the Depression, World War 2, and the Vietnam War was very informative. I think I have gained a much better understanding of the older generation than I had before this summer.