“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world”  – E.B. White

I have been given gifts undeservedly.

I grew up healthy, surrounded by friends and family who love me. I’ve had access to phenomenal schools, and been lucky enough to pursue an undergraduate degree. I’ve never known true hunger, thirst, or fear.

There is nothing that inherently makes me more deserving of these blessings than any other person on the planet. Nothing about who I am would drive any observer to say, “He is different, he deserves better than me.”

Thus, throughout my life I have been attempting to discover a way to use what I have been given to help others. At the same time, I am a flawed human being. I do not possess the moral compass which would guide me to sell all luxury possessions and donate all non-essential monies to charity.

I am instead someone who loves long conversations with friends, spontaneous road trips, and playing tennis. I love participating in all the good which I have been blessed with.

Therefore, a difficult problem has plagued my subconscious for much of my young-adult life: How can I balance my desire to both improve and enjoy the world? This summer I found the answer: AMEND.

Please don’t misunderstand me here, I am not touting AMEND to be a magical fairy tale in which I spend half my day on a beach in Greece and the other half working with kids through local charities (although that job would be equally incredible).

I also would be lying if I said my experience was easy, it absolutely was not. Like my fellow analysts, I was thrown into the deep end on the first day without knowing how to swim.

But improvement is born of struggle.

I don’t go to Greece, I work in a factory. I’ve built tools with the help of my team based on employee requests that have made day-to- day operations both easier and more efficient.

I don’t work with kids. Instead I’ve built personal relationships with their parents and grandparents to stay focused on what matters most at the end of the day.

I didn’t know how to swim, but I was never in danger. Surrounding all edges of the pool was the AMEND family that cares first and foremost for my personal well-being and aspirations. They also happen to be some of the most driven and successful professionals currently working.

Due to these events, in a few short weeks I will leave AMEND and confidently say:

I have improved the lives of those around me, had my own life improved, all the while enjoying every bit of the experience.