Project Inspire made me a believer.
By nature, I consider myself a critical person, some might say even cynical, but for the first time in my life I became a part of a project that transformed me into a complete believer. I had the privilege of being a part of the prep team for NVIDIA’s 11th Annual Project Inspire at Veggielution at Emma Prush Park. In just six days I was amazed, inspired, and motivated by the generosity and selflessness of the people with whom I served. I saw NVIDIA executives dig in the dirt and over 1,000 volunteers put in countless hours to expand Veggielution, a community farm in East San Jose, from 2 to 6 acres. It was simply amazing.
As a first year corps member whose responsibility is mostly school related, tetherball was my primary physical
undertaking until this point. I was a co-project coordinator, along with an amazing NVIDIA employee named Will Reamy. During Project Inspire we were responsible for the construction of an entire farm stand, which will be used to sell produce grown at Veggielution to the community. Needless to say, I was in over my head.
I like to think that I rose to the occasion, gathering construction materials and tools, and understanding building plans designed for engineers (sort of). I struggled, I stressed, I sweat, I got slivers, and I grew in so many amazing ways. While my own growth was rewarding, the opportunity to watch more than a thousand people give up their time to build up a farm that would benefit the community was truly amazing. NVIDIA as a company truly impressed me with their charity and commitment to the cause. Even though Project Inspire ended on Saturday I know for a fact that the NVIDIA employees working on my project along with Will, their fearless leader, were back Sunday, all day to finish the farm stand. Their commitment to service was inspiring.
Now that Project Inspire is over I can look back and laugh at how tired I was and how silly I must have looked trying to construct picnic tables with very little skill. The support and motivation I was surrounded by far surpassed the awkwardness of the unknown I faced during prep-week and the event. I wish I could go back and do it all again.
- Jess McCue, Corps Member CYSJ