Reflections of one year in Westwood

My name is Tyler Schrock, and this week will be my last week at Re:Vision. I am writing to tell you a bit about my story working here and in Westwood, and why I will miss being a part of this community.

I joined Re:Vision as part of DOOR Denver – a service organization focused on placing young adults at urban non-profits. DOOR houses them with other volunteers and challenges them to live simply. For my work, I spend two days each week with Re:Vision, working on the website and helping them with marketing. Two other days are spent at The Bridge Project, which is also in Westwood. The Bridge Project is an afterschool program and summer day camp that approaches education from a social work perspective, focusing more on the needs of kids and families instead of strictly grades or homework.

Over the past 12 months with both of these programs, I have quickly begun to learn about Westwood and the community. Half of my time has been spent with kids, helping with math homework, sitting in as a teachers aid for rowdy classrooms, and helping to prepare snacks for kids between their seven hour school day and evening tutoring. Other days, I was helping with online messaging about backyard gardens, building a new website for the Westwood Food Co-op and learning how Re:Vision has been reaching out to the same families and children that I have been working with as a tutor. Even though I lived a few miles away on West Colfax, I developed a connection to this community and the growth that has been so tangible here.

Here are some things that I have grown to love and will sorely miss as I head back to my home in Ohio:

  • Den-Mex food: Green Chile, fresh tortillas and a bit of spice. These are some of my new favorite foods
  • A bi-lingual office: My Spanish is pretty rough – I do my best to keep up with the conversations here at the office and around town.
  • Our backyard garden: The house where I live is actually part of the Re:Vision backyard gardening program, and I am always amazed by how much our little garden supplies us with a ton of fresh food, although sometimes the swiss chard hit us all at once J
  • Seeing the Bridge kids around town: During my bike commute, I often saw kids from the Bridge Project around town, in the park or walking around with their friends. Hearing them call me “Mr. Tyler” will stay with me long after I've left.
  • Getting my hands dirty: With a job title involving the website, you might be surprised at how often I found myself out of the office. At different points, I spent assembling furniture for the new kitchen, inventorying thousands of glass eyeballs from the new property or helping with manure deliveries around town.

I’m moving back east to be close to my family, but I will miss the Westwood community and so many folks from Re:vision, the Bridge Project and the DOOR program. Thank you all for your dedication to this work, thank you Re:Vision for making me feel at home, and thank you Westwood for being a charismatic leader in agriculture and community organizing.

I will miss this place.