A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life of a Sycamore House Corps Member Through the Years

2016-2017 Corps Member Grace Sinopoli

A woman sitting at a table, holding a brochure

Monday through Thursday:

  • 7:00 am: Wake up, get dressed and ready for the day.
  • 7:30 am: Head to the kitchen to grab some breakfast and pack my lunch if I haven’t already. I say good morning to my housemates (fellow corps members) who are doing the same, and we chat about our days (depending on how awake we are).
  • 8:00 am: Leave for work. My housemate Sarah and I carpool to our offices, which are close to each other and about 10-15 minutes away from the Sycamore House. I always enjoy the time together on our way to and from work. Other corps members drive on their own, or take public transit options.
  • 8:30 am: Arrive at the Feeding Pennsylvania office and plan out my tasks for the day. These include: responding to emails and writing blog posts, attending events in the community with my supervisor, and calls or meetings with Food Banks and other organizations. I take breaks here and there to talk with co-workers or go for my daily mid-day walk outside. It’s great to know that whatever each day entails, it’s with the mission of fighting hunger in Pennsylvania.
  • 4:30 pm: Sarah picks me up after we both finish work, and we head back to the Sycamore House. As with the schedules, each corps member has a different work environment and type of service they are doing, so I love getting home and hearing about everyone’s days.
  • 5:30 pm: After work, I love to go for a walk or run along the river, or go work out at the YMCA a few blocks away. Others might be found doing the same, or doing whatever they like to do in our neighborhood!
  • 7:00 pm: Depending on the day of the week, we might have our weekly house dinner and meeting together, our community dinner that we host (welcoming anyone from the community), one-on-one meetings with Heather, or no specific plans. We often tend to congregate in the dining or living room, naturally flocking together for some silly or serious conversation. We all have our own rooms this year, so anyone who needs to is also able to have some introverted time in the evenings.
  • 9:00 pm: If we have something like community dinner or a house meeting going on, we’re usually finished for the evening by about 9, leaving plenty of time to relax and rest. The next morning, it’s time for another great day as a Sycamore House corps member!
2018-2019 Corps Member Madi Keaton
Monday through Thursday:
  • 7:30 am: Time to get up! If the honking and screeching brakes of the cars on Front Street trying to get to work don’t wake me up, then my alarm certainly will.
  • 7:45 am: Bed made? Check. Teeth brushed? Check. Face washed? Check. I quickly pick out and outfit and then head upstairs to pack a lunch. Generally, my lunch is made up of a lot of little snacks that we happen to keep around the house, like string cheese, hard boiled eggs, baby carrots, and a piece of fruit. On mornings where I feel especially groggy, I boil some water in our electric kettle to make coffee from our French press. I pour it into my trusty Mason jar, gather my things, and head to my placement!
  • 8:30 am: Thankfully, my commute to the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project is only a few minutes’ walk from the house. I sign in and head upstairs to my office, where I start my computer and begin checking my email. The rest of the day varies according to the projects I’m working on. I’m either doing research or writing or attending meetings—or a mix of all three! Today, I’m working on a document detailing how to bring diversity and racial equity into the workplace. Many of this year’s trainings have been focused on creating an inclusive and equitable workplace, so I am compiling all of the notes as well as outside research into a comprehensive report that can be referred to for years to come. I am also doing other miscellaneous tasks, like writing emails, printing rebuttals for cases, and having check-ins with my supervisors.
  • 4:30 pm: I leave work and head back home. For now, I’m taking a break from the mental labor of work and watching Netflix until I get ready for dinner.
  • 5:30 pm: I begin to prepare dinner. One of my favorite things to make is tacos. I grab corn tortillas from the fridge. Then, I heat up some black beans over the stove with salt, lime juice, and chili powder. I heat up the tortillas too, melting shredded cheese between them to keep each pair together. Then, I place the black beans and a dollop of salsa on each pair. Simple, but delicious! If some of my other housemates happen to be grabbing dinner at the same time, I’ll generally sit and eat with them.
  • 6:00 pm: I clean up the dishes from dinner and decide what to do with the rest of the evening. Usually, I spend it doing chores like laundry or sweeping a room and then relax for the remainder of the night. Sometimes, I go out to an event, like a book talk at Midtown Scholar or a performance. Occasionally, my housemates will all want to go out and hit our favorite spot—Arooga’s! We collect the coupons off of the back of Giant receipts. They allow for one free drink or a buy one, get one free appetizer. It’s a great way to drink and eat food that is bad for you when you’re on a budget!
  • 10:00 pm:Time for bed! I brush my teeth, wash my face, and set my alarm for the next morning.