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February 27, 2014

Seasoned AmeriCorps Member Tells All

Adam Hill volunteered as a Reading Partners’ tutor at Berkley Maynard Academy in North Oakland before he served as an AmeriCorps Site Coordinator for Reading Partners Washington, DC from 2011-13. He is currently working as the Curator of Institutional Practice at Ingenuity Prep, a charter school based in Washington, DC.

AmeriCorpsAlum_Adam Hill smWhen Adam initially joined Reading Partners as a tutor he felt skeptical of the program’s ability to truly impact the community, but by the time Reading Partners’ program year finished, Adam had changed his tune. He and his student, Oscar, had shared great experiences as a student-tutor pair and there was no doubt in Adam’s mind that Reading Partners’ program provided long-term student and community growth.

Adam enjoyed his experience so much that he applied for the Reading Partners AmeriCorps program. By August 2011, he had interviewed for an AmeriCorps Site Coordinator position in Washington, DC and happily accepted when he was offered the position.

Interview with Adam Hill

Here is what Adam had to say about his two terms of AmeriCorps service during an interview with Reading Partners staff:

Q. Where did you serve your AmeriCorps term?

A. I served at Community Academy Public Charter School in Washington, DC—the highest volume school site in the region. I had 60 students and 120 tutors in my center on a weekly basis.

Q. What is an AmeriCorps Site Coordinator?

A. At Reading Partners, AmeriCorps Site Coordinators lead the day-to-day operations of Reading Partners’ reading centers. AmeriCorps Site Coordinators are placed in partner schools where they oversee the full-time operations of a Reading Partners school site. This includes student assessments, tutoring, and coordination of an average of 35-80 volunteer tutors. Site Coordinators are also tasked with cultivating positive relationships between Reading Partners and the school community.

Q. How was your experience as an AmeriCorps member with Reading Partners?

A. I had a good first year of AmeriCorps service…being a Site Coordinator was hard in the beginning – I had a high level of organization, dedication, and responsibility invested in my role at Reading Partners. While I did face challenges in my role, I could see my students making gains and wanted to do a second year.

In my second year, I felt more confident as a Senior AmeriCorps member and knew I could really make an impact. I was excited to continue to see my students advance and was prepared to manage my tutors with increased confidence. In my second year I was also able to serve as a resource and leader for new Site Coordinators by sharing my successes and challenges.

Q. Why would you advocate for AmeriCorps service to your peers?

A. AmeriCorps was a great way to give back to the community. The value of community-based education became clear through interacting with tutors, students, parents, peers, and educators of different backgrounds and experiences.

My service as an AmeriCorps member has continued to influence my work in education today. I now work as the Curator of Institutional Practice at Ingenuity Prep, a charter school in Washington, DC. Had I taken a job in a more corporate sector, I fear I would have developed a less diverse peer group and would be less fulfilled in my current workplace.

Q. How has your Reading Partners AmeriCorps service affected you?

A. Reading Partners instilled in me a belief that all kids can reach high levels of achievement: If challenged, students will rise to the occasion and become successful moving forward. I am devoted to narrowing students’ achievement gaps, and will continue to work hard to narrow that gap in my current role at Ingenuity Prep.

About Reading Partners’ AmeriCorps Programs

AmeriCorps is a national service program that meets a community’s critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. Since the program’s founding in 1994, more than 800,000 AmeriCorps members have dedicated more than one billion hours in service across the United States.

Reading Partners works with AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service to provide full-time service opportunities in our programs across the United States, supporting communities’ critical needs in education. Reading Partners AmeriCorps members dedicate 1700 hours of volunteer service over an 11-month term. In exchange, Reading Partners AmeriCorps members receive leadership and career development, and a living stipend provided by the AmeriCorps grant.

AmeriCorps is an exciting opportunity for service-minded individuals who are passionate about education and the nonprofit sector.

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