This spring, the college’s Gracenotes Volunteer Committee sponsored its second annual trip to New Mexico. A group of nine staff and faculty members traveled to Santa Fe to work with Habitat for Humanity. Here, trip leader Ellen Thompson shares her experience.

By Ellen Thompson

Gracenotes 2018 group shot

A week out from our 2018 Habitat Gracenotes trip, I’m still in awe that all of the many things we learned as a group (about Berklee, the Conservatory, Santa Fe, Habitat for Humanity, power tools…). It’s hard to believe that really did come about in just 7 days spent together. It feels like I’ve known this cohort of generous souls for much longer.

We set out to be of service, as a cohesive unit, working towards a unified goal: to make a difference for ourselves, our working community, and for the housing recipients in Santa Fe. For alacrity’s sake, I’ll focus on just one aspect of our journey: the inspiration I’m left with after witnessing (and partaking in) the teamwork we all displayed throughout our week.

Our group humbled me time and again as each day we would learn a new nugget of information about our myriad talents. With building prowess, well-timed puns, and openness to entirely new experiences, all nine members of our team pitched in to create a set of unique experiences that extend beyond each of us, and even beyond our own group. By trusting each other, being vulnerable, and sharing from our strengths, each of our group allowed for all the others to learn, contribute and be contributed to.

I had the privilege to witness conversation and collaboration that spanned from ideas for transforming Berklee to commitments to continue this type of volunteer contribution and beyond in just one short week. I couldn’t be prouder to be part of an institution that fosters this type of far-reaching contribution, and I am so thankful to the 2018 group for being part of what makes Berklee so great.

Ellen ThompsonEllen Thompson is the Berklee Global Initiatives Operations Manager. Her work at Berklee supports her central passion: understanding and supporting communities from across the globe. Ellen loves dogs, painting, and Jeopardy!.