3 days ago
Why I serve: from AmeriCorps member to admissions manager
When I started my first AmeriCorps service term more than 10 years ago, I never would have bet that I would still be connected to the national service movement a decade later. I was truly interested in serving the community, but I thought I would only have a year, tops, to do it. Two service years and seven staff years later, I am prouder than ever to be an AmeriCorps alumna.
National service is a unique opportunity, and a great and humbling privilege. Once I completed my first month of training for service—way back in 2006—I knew it was an opportunity I should not take for granted. After years of watching new members say the AmeriCorps pledge service term after service term, I myself am still learning, still growing, and still intentionally connected to AmeriCorps.
I started my AmeriCorps term right around the time that my younger brother completed his training to serve in the military. He now trains new service members. My service does not begin to equal the sacrifice that he and his family have made on behalf of our country. However, my brother’s service inspired me to do my part to serve our country and our communities as an AmeriCorps member.
I served because tutoring students, and watching them learn and grow, is a privilege. Typically you have to be an educator or an administrator to work in a school. Yet, AmeriCorps members have the opportunity to support students in their academic life, and this service can make a lasting impact in schools and communities. When a teacher presents a lesson or concept, AmeriCorps members get to work with individual students to make sure they understand it. That is kind of a big deal. Individualized support in grasping math concepts helped me when I was a high school student—what I didn’t get in class (and it was a lot) I reviewed during my lunch hour with the teacher’s assistant, and I passed my algebra II class. I will continue to support AmeriCorps because I know the benefits of receiving individualized academic support, and I believe in the positive impacts of the national service movement.
It’s been 10 years since I first took the pledge, and AmeriCorps is now more than 25 years old. I work as an admissions manager now because I am inspired by the people who apply to Reading Partners, and those who commit to serve. I hope the opportunity to pledge a year of service to our communities continues for decades to come.