Antony was a man of God who lived in Egypt around 251-356. He had some really powerful faith, in my opinion, because he stayed true to God in difficult times. He even kept the faith when he was fighting evil--basically, he was wrestling with an evil spirit (from what I understand of it, at least). Even though he was in such scary situations, he kept true to God and never strayed from his faith.
Part of the reason Antony had such strong faith was because he had some great role models. He pondered over things he read in church, and tried to be like the early Christians who sold everything they had to give to the poor. He ate only when he really had to, and spent most of his time studying the Bible and getting closer to God. He had really great role models through ascetics, and in turn he became a role model for many (why else is he in a book if he's not a role model?).
I can really identify with Antony, not because I sold everything I have or rarely eat, but because I have been blessed with some amazing role models. I have numerous role models, and have had even more in elementary school and high school, and each person has taught me something special. Currently, I have around 6 role models, but my list changes so much! I have two wonderful role models at Western Avenue, Socorro and Liz. Socorro gets frustrated a lot at work because it's really hard to deal with so many people's problems, but she is a true example of someone using their gifts to their full potential. She has the workload of way more than one person, yet she still takes time to get to know most clients and help them as well as she can. She talks often about how she wishes there was someone else with her job as well so they could do more community outreach. Liz is another example of how someone can really use his or her gifts. She really likes to talk, but she's also a great listener, which is great since she's a counselor. She runs a support group for Latina women who are facing issues of domestic violence, and she takes care of those women and their children like they are her family. I've gone many times at 10 or 11 at night to take food or diapers to families with her. She shows what it is to truly give of your time. Another really important role model to me is my boss at La Oportunidad, Rocio. She's just like Socorro and Liz, except she gets to work with kids. She really cares for the kids she works with, and it's just really inspiring to see her work. Some of the lessons seem kind of cheesy to me, but the kids (generally) have fun, and they love her! She is really a role model for me because of her relationship with the kids, and I'm starting to get similar friendships with the kids, which makes me really happy. Over Christmas break, I met another person who quickly became a role model for me. While in Nicaragua, we only had one night with the owner of the mission that we were working with, but the one night we had with her really changed my perspective a lot. As a person wanting to go into bilingual social work, I'm SO scared. I hate being in uncomfortable situations, and (for the most part), I have managed to avoid them. Linda taught me, however, that it's okay to be uncomfortable. She didn't speak any Spanish before moving down to Nicaragua to start the mission--and now the entire community knows and loves her. I think part of the reason I wanted to do social work with Hispanics was because I can use my skills in Spanish. Originally, I was going to go into ESL Education. I decided not to because I don't speak ALL those languages, but Linda showed me that that's okay. I know that if I feel called to work for an organization that works with people who don't speak English OR Spanish, I'll be okay. I feel like I've talked about my role models too much now. I feel bad for not talking about Kelly or Luz, but they aren't so much role models in my vocation, but in my daily life.
I really hope to be a role model in 10-15 years, hopefully sooner. I really hope that I am someone like Rocio--that kids love, talk to, and look up to. I think that I'm starting to be like that a little bit at my internship, and that makes me really happy. J