This week is national AmeriCorps week and I’m excited to be sharing my AmeriCorps story! I was honored to write this blog post to be featured on Eastside Baby Corner’s blog spotlighting the program that I am loving so much! Even though you can read about it HERE, I thought it would be nice to syndicate it on my blog too!
This post will be a two-parter, so come back in a couple days for the second half!
Learning & Research
In June 2012, I graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in Media and Communications. As the day of my graduation loomed all I could think about was making it through the ceremony and having it official. My friends were all talking about their plans for after graduation, which for many included graduate school and were shocked that I wasn’t planning on going that route. Me, I just was looking forward to being done with school. Have a break. Be Lazy. In all honesty, at that time I was ready for one last summer vacation; one last leisurely summer off without anything to do or schedule to follow. I wanted one last chance to be a kid enjoying summer vacation, before officially becoming an adult.
Around that same time my mom kept hinting for me to look into joining AmeriCorps. It would be an amazing experience and would provide me with an incredible start to my career. I promised her I would look into it and followed through and did visit the AmeriCorps website to do some research, but was still in the mindset of wanting a lazy summer.
In early July, I was approached by Eastside Baby Corner’s (EBC) Volunteer/Program Manager, Madeline Fish, who mentioned to me they were approved to receive an AmeriCorps*VISTA member for the 2012-2013 service year. I had been a Saturday Supervisor at EBC for the past year and absolutely loved the organization. This once again got me thinking about looking into joining AmeriCorps, but this time as a VISTA member. Once again, I returned to the AmeriCorps website to do additional research.
What is AmeriCorps?
“It’s a chance to apply your skills and ideals toward helping others and meeting critical needs in the community.”
What can I do as an AmeriCorps Member?
- Tutor and mentor disadvantaged youth
- Fight illiteracy
- Improve health services
- Build affordable housing
- Teach computer skills
- Clean parks and streams
- Manage or operate after-school programs
- Help communities respond to disasters
- Build organizational capacity
What’s the difference between AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps*VISTA?
AmeriCorps is made up of three main programs: AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps).
AmeriCorps State and National: AmeriCorps State and National supports a broad range of local service programs that engage thousands of Americans in intensive service to meet critical community needs.
AmeriCorps VISTA: AmeriCorps VISTA provides full-time members to community organizations and public agencies to create and expand programs that build capacity and ultimately bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty.
AmeriCorps NCCC: The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) is a full-time residential program for men and women, ages 18-24 that strengthens communities while developing leaders through direct, team-based national and community service.
What are the benefits of becoming an AmeriCorps member?
As an AmeriCorps member, you’ll gain new skills and experiences—and you’ll also find the tremendous satisfaction that comes from helping others. In addition, full-time members who complete their service earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back qualified student loans.
After I completed my research, I decided that I wanted to apply for the AmeriCorps*VISTA member position at EBC.
Check back later this week to find out what happened next in Part 2 of AmeriCorps and Me!