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We had an amazing AmeriCorps Week this year! From our Instagram and Snapchat takeovers to sharing our AmeriCake all over the country, our members and our overall AmeriCorps community made AmeriCorps Week 2016 our best ever! Remember to enter the #ServeWithMe video contest and keep telling your friends and family how you Get Things Done!

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    Employers of National Service connects AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni with employers from private, public, and nonprofit sectors.

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#ServeWithMe Video Contest

Share your passion for AmeriCorps. Create a short 1 minute recruitment video about how you would encourage someone in your life to serve with AmeriCorps. Then post it to your YouTube channel with #ServeWithMe so we can find it.

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AmeriStories

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.” AmeriCorps members come from every corner of the country and all walks of life. Take look at this small sample of their stories and discover how they served -- and continue to serve -- in communities across America.

Image of Amanda Adams
Amanda Adams
Habitat for Humanity 2015
Why AmeriCorps is important?
 
Editor’s note: March 5-12 is AmeriCorps Week, a week designated by the Corporation for National and Community Service to salute AmeriCorps members and alumni for their service. Since Habitat for Humanity began partnering with CNCS in 1994, more than 9,025 AmeriCorps members like Amanda Adams have served with us. They’ve helped Habitat serve more than 24,000 families, contributed more than 15 million hours of service, raised tens of millions of dollars and engaged more than 3.3 million volunteers.
 
By middle school, I had moved seven times. A few were simple across-town moves, but the majority were major cross-county moves that required me to switch schools, make new friends and acclimate to a whole new community. Unsurprisingly, I never felt very connected to any of those communities.
 
After multiple stints in California and time in Texas and in Alabama, I landed in Oregon. That final move with my family seemed like it was bound to be just the next city, but we ended up staying. I finished high school there, went off to college and still live in the Pacific Northwest.
 
After getting my degree in human services from Oregon State University, I was headed for the nonprofit world, and Portland seemed like the perfect place. When I learned about an open AmeriCorps service position with Habitat Portland/Metro East, I jumped at the opportunity and applied for the volunteer engagement position.
 
After watching my parents — and so many others — struggle to afford their homes, I knew I wanted to make a difference in the housing sector. I was thrilled to be selected for the position and dropped everything to move to Portland and begin my year of service. I was one of about 15 AmeriCorps members at Habitat Portland/Metro East, and I got right to work scheduling volunteer groups, researching affordable housing and putting together presentations. My goal was to teach volunteers and community members about the far-reaching impacts of affordable housing.
 
I gave lunchtime talks to volunteer groups about Habitat’s mission, told homeowner stories and addressed the negative impacts of poverty housing. Often speaking from my own experiences, I educated and thanked volunteers for the time and energy they spent ensuring more families would have a safe, affordable place to call home. By the end of my AmeriCorps service, I had spoken to nearly 1,000 volunteers and community members.
 
In Portland, which is still in the midst of a housing crisis, the community is very aware of the lack of affordable homeownership opportunities, and many people seek out community service to help change this — including myself. Through the Habitat AmeriCorps program, I was able to spend two years helping to expand these opportunities in the Portland area and across the country during Habitat’s AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon events. I worked on construction sites in Portland, Iowa and New Orleans, alongside hundreds of volunteers, future Habitat homeowners and fellow AmeriCorps members.
 
Those two years were some of the most rewarding and impactful years I’ve ever had. As someone who has experienced housing instability, I got to see dozens of families achieve something that will forever change their lives and the lives of their children. I worked with thousands of volunteers and gave them realistic ways to make a difference in their community, one that I had quickly become a part of.
 
Having just finished my time with Habitat AmeriCorps, I can really appreciate how much I learned, personally and professionally. I’m stepping into a role with a new organization as a leadership programs coordinator with vast work experience, invaluable training, and a stellar network of friends and professional contacts. I walked away having made a tremendous difference and with education awards to help pay off student loans and a resume that is hard to ignore. It is an experience that will be with me forever, and I will always be a Habitat supporter and an advocate for national service.
 
I did. You can.
 
If you’re a current member or alumni of Habitat AmeriCorps, share your story on social media using the hashtag #ididyoucan. Be sure to tag @HFHAmeriCorps.
image of Teach for America AmeriCorps member helping a student
Teach For America
2016 to 2017
During AmeriCorps Week, Teach For America celebrates our commitment to service and our partnership with AmeriCorps! This passion for service is alive and well in all 52 of our regions, but especially in the Rio Grande Valley. 
 
Christian Sascha Brown is a teacher at IDEA Alamo College Prep, located in Alamo, Texas.  This week his students are learning new skills for constructing persuasive essays.   He is thrilled to showcase his classroom because his students have been working relentlessly, not only towards their academic goals, but also towards their personal goals for success in college and beyond.  Students have been operating as a community to support each other’s learning in preparation for their upcoming STAAR exam.  This communal effort has extended beyond the classroom as students are working to support each other outside of school.  His students worked as a family to plan their travel from Texas to Chicago for their college visit. During AmeriCorps Week, he can’t wait to show off his students’ collective grit, determination, and joy for learning and service.
 
Also at IDEA College Prep, Evelyn Hunter is a math teacher currently teaching her students how to read and create representations of data.  She’s excited for AmeriCorps to see her students using their understanding of math as a tool to examine the world around them and question inequalities that are in place. In this way she is emphasizing a commitment that she and her students have made to positively impact their community.
 
Kevin Magana is a math teacher at PSJA Southwest High School, home of the mighty Javelines, in South Texas.  This week in his classroom students are learning about Compound Area and Perimeter and training for the mathematics portion of college entrance exams. For AmeriCorps Week, his students are completing unique and engaging projects focusing specifically on the impact of college entrance exams on their lives and how this will enable them to make a difference in the world. 
 
photo of AIDS United AmeriCorps members
AIDS United
AIDS United
2016 to 2017
This week is AmeriCorps Week! It's a week to recognize and show gratitude for the significant impact AmeriCorps members make in communities across our great nation. 
 
It's also a great chance for AmeriCorps members to use their place in the spotlight to roll up their sleeves, strut their stuff, and get things done for America. This past weekend AIDS United AmeriCorps Members and alumni from Cleveland, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Detroit did exactly that in Flint, Michigan. 
 
We served at three different agencies: AIDS Wellness, The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, and the Greater Holy Temple’s public water distribution site. At each site, we worked alongside the community members to clean and organize, prepare resources, sort 10,000 pounds of food, and distribute hundreds of cases of water and other resources to those in need. 
 
We also had the opportunity to meet with Jennifer McArdle of the United Way and two AmeriCorps NCCC Members serving with the Red Cross in Flint, where we learned about the community’s response to the crisis. AmeriCorps NCCC has been critical in doing community outreach, distributing resources and identifying those in need of water. 
 
At the end of the day, our time in Flint was brief. It gave us a glimpse into the kind of devastation that has affected so many lives not just in Flint, but in communities around the country including our own. 
 
Perhaps most importantly though, this weekend demonstrated to us that although the community is enduring a hardship, they are not complacent and they are not giving up. What we saw was the resilience of people and the recognition of their shared humanity. We saw tireless compassion and a desire to better the quality of life for all, regardless of sex or race. 
 
Mainly, we saw hope. 
 
We learned that Flint does not need anyone’s pity, and they certainly do not need more bottles of water. We listened to them and heard that what they do need is people’s support of the surrounding social services, such as healthcare and poverty relief, to help uplift the community. They also need the country to continue to use their voices to call for continued recognition of not only Flint, but other communities facing similar struggles.  
What they need, and we would wager what we all need, is for the people of planet Earth to recognize and remember that we are all in this together. 
 
Thank you to the people of Flint, for welcoming us into your community and sharing your stories with us!
Image of a Food Corps AmeriCorps member talking to children about vegatables
Food Corps
Food Corps 2016
FoodCorps is a nationwide team of 205 AmeriCorps leaders who connect kids to real food and help them grow up healthy. Our corps members serve their communities by teaching hands-on lessons about food and nutrition; building and tending school gardens, and teaching cooking lessons; and helping change what’s on lunch trays—giving kids healthy food from local farms.
 
From the beginning, FoodCorps was focused on the power of AmeriCorps to make change. The FoodCorps founders first came together on Earth Day in 2009, the day President Obama signed the Kennedy Serve America Act into law. This legislation signaled a new opportunity to engage AmeriCorps in building a more sustainable, healthful, equitable food system, and helping our nation’s most vulnerable kids benefit from that system.
 
In the five years since our program launched, it has reached hundreds of thousands of kids in 18 states. We’ve partnered with over 500 schools to give students the skills (and enthusiasm!) to build healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. We measure our impact as we go and have found that in schools with a FoodCorps service member, students are more likely to try new vegetables, and their school food environments become healthier. 
 
FoodCorps is creating a future in which all our nation’s children know what healthy food is, care where it comes from, and have access to it every day. When our work is done, generations that follow will grow up enveloped in a vibrant school food environment––and will go on to lead healthier, more productive and longer lives.
 
We’re also really proud of the fact that the program simultaneously gives our corps members unparalleled job training. The combination of (1) on the job experience, (2) our national, regional and state trainings, and (3) professional development opportunities throughout the year means our service members are building skills and networks for their future careers. As one alum put it:  “My service experience has paved the way for a path into the nonprofit sector, classroom or outdoor education, nutrition and public health, food service, and, of course, agriculture." 
 
We’re thrilled to celebrate AmeriCorps Week, but the truth is, we celebrate AmeriCorps every day!
 
photo of Shauntia Dyson
Shauntia Dyson
AmeriCorps VISTA
2016 to 2017
My name is Shauntia Dyson and I am originally from Augusta, Ga. I currently serve in Savannah, Ga, in which I have been a resident since 2011. Not only am I an AmeriCorps VISTA, but I am also completing the coursework to receive a Master’s degree in Public Health at Armstrong State University. 
 
The biggest joy of my life comes from serving and helping others. I realized at a young age that there are a lot of people who are not as fortunate as I am to have clothes, food, and a chance at bettering their education. By having that value instilled in me early on, I have learned to not take anything for granted. I first discovered the AmeriCorps VISTA program in 2015 while exploring potential next steps after graduating college. After learning more about the history and mission of the program, I was convinced that it was the right decision for me. In January of this year, I was given the opportunity to interview for a VISTA position, and was offered the position in less than a week. Without hesitation, I accepted. I knew that my values were very similar to those of the VISTA program, and I would be able to make a difference in my community.
 
I am currently serving as a Program and Development Associate at the Forsyth Farmers’ Market, a local nonprofit organization. Over the course of my service year I will be predominately working on building capacity for two of the organization’s projects: Farm Truck 912 and Mixed Greens. Farm Truck 912 is one the organization’s latest projects. It is a mobile market that travel to neighborhoods in the Savannah area that are considered “food deserts”, communities that do not have proper access to healthy food options. Mixed Greens is a diverse group comprised of community members with and without disabilities that strives to build a welcoming community around the Forsyth Farmers’ Market for all people. My role will consist of increasing the use of organization’s volunteers, increasing and diversifying financial and in-kind resources, enhancing the organization’s reach and visibility, and enhancing the program’s processes and procedures. Working on these specific projects will make healthy foods more accessible in the surrounding neighborhoods and allow residents of these communities to have more of an understanding of how healthy foods can help lead better and healthier lives. 
 
 I have only been a VISTA for two weeks and already I am learning so much. In my service year, I expect to learn more about low-income environments in my community and how I as a VISTA and community member can help decrease both health and food disparities, which are very prevalent, in the Savannah area. I am looking forward to growing personally as well as professionally and am excited for what is to come!
 
To learn more about me and so many others serving across the country with AmeriCorps, follow us Instagram and Snapchat account, nationalservice. #AmeriCorpsWorks
 
Image of a Teach for America AmeriCorps member teaching a class
Teach For America
2016
AmeriCorps Works: Providing Opportunities for Native Students
By Robert Cook
  
Robert Cook is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and senior managing director of Teach For America’s Native Alliance Initiative. In 2009 Teach For America launched its Native Alliance Initiative to work in partnership with tribal communities to provide an additional source of effective teachers and help improve outcomes for students.
 
Native Alaskan, Native Hawaiian, and American Indian students face some startling educational realities. Only 49 percent of Native students graduate from high school, compared to the national average of 86 percent. On average, 29 percent of all American students earn a college degree, while just 11 percent of Native students do the same. Native children experience some of the highest levels of poverty in our country, which greatly affects their academic and life options. It’s clear that as a country and a society, we haven’t lived up to our obligations to Native communities. But, there are also programs and individuals committed to service who strive to ensure these statistics are no longer the reality for Native students.
 
This week, as we recognize AmeriCorps Week and honor the impact AmeriCorps makes across our nation every day, it is important to highlight impacts occurring in Native communities. AmeriCorps investment is part of the Administration’s larger commitment to create lasting change in Indian Country by strengthening tribal communities through education and economic development. 
 
As a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation, from the Pine Ridge Reservation in the heartland of South Dakota and a veteran educator and school leader, I’ve taught many years on the reservation and faced many of the obstacles Native students encounter today. I witnessed firsthand how urban and rural schools serving Native students face unique challenges that, in large part, stem from historical relationships of distrust between tribes and government.
AmeriCorps members are working to address a range of challenges, including tutoring and mentoring Native youth, teaching nutrition and physical activity, preserving language and cultural heritage, protecting the environment, connecting veterans and their families to workforce resources, preparing for disasters, and tackling substance abuse issues.
 
And AmeriCorps programs like Teach For America are committed to preparing more educators to work in partnership with tribes and communities to help ensure all students have great education outcomes. In 2009 we launched the Native Alliance Initiative (NAI), and for the past 6 years we’ve worked hand-in-hand with Native communities to expand educational opportunities for their students. Building trust and relationships with local and regional partners is essential to this work. We’re giving our corps members more strategies for incorporating tribal and community culture into the classroom, focusing on recruiting more Native leaders to the teaching profession, and in our alumni, developing a critical pipeline of leadership committed to advocating for and building with Native communities and children.
 
This school year, Teach For America welcomed its 25thcorps into our country’s highest-need classrooms. Our 4,100 new teachers joined an overall leadership force of over 50,000 corps members and Teach For America alumni. The 2015 corps includes 790 teachers working across six regions with significant Native student populations—communities with some of our country’s most pressing needs.
 
Over the past five years our NAI corps members, alumni, staff, and their communities have taken the initiative from a mere idea to a successful partnership. In 2013, our South Dakota region received formal Resolutions of Support from the Oglala and Rosebud Tribal Councils of South Dakota. In 2014, Teach For America partnered with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) to leverage the strengths of both of our organizations to increase the STEM success of Native students, as well as Native representation among STEM teachers. And in 2015 AISES named us a Top 50 Workplace for Native American STEM Professionals for the second consecutive year.  In 2010, through a competitive process, the Bureau of Indian Education recognized Teach For America as an approved additional teacher pipeline in all Bureau operated schools across the country. As an organization, we are grateful for these partnerships as they further solidify our connection to Native communities as we work to permanently close the opportunity gap for Native students.
 
To date, over 300 America Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian teachers  have entered the field of education through Teach For America, and in the 2015-16 school year corps members across our NAI regions of Hawai‘i, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, the Twin Cities, and Washington state will impact nearly 38,000  students, representing more than 100 Federally Recognized Tribes. 
 
We’re proud of the all that AmeriCorps and its programs have accomplished in partnership with communities, and we know there’s so much more to be done. We’re working alongside others to ensure that federal and state education policies support the needs of Native students and teachers, and build new partnerships to take on issues facing the communities where we work: bullying, suicide intervention, inappropriate use of Native mascots and negative imagery  in schools,  through cradle to career advocacy for Native students.
 
In the years to come, we have a real opportunity to make a profound impact on the lives of Native children through our committed network of corps members, alumni and many partners in Native Communities. Our efforts today are grounded in the spirit and fearless leadership of generations of Native leaders who continuously fought for the basic right of education.
 
Native communities are resilient in the face of historical and present-day injustice, buoyed by strong, vibrant and diverse cultures that deserve to be celebrated. Students in Native communities deserve an education to match that spirit, and AmeriCorps programs and corps members are proud to play a part in that.
 
Image of Johnson Ho
Johnson Ho
City Year
2016 to 2017
JaHow AmeriCorps Helps Students in the Classroom
 
By Johnson Ho, City Year Jacksonville AmeriCorps member
 
In 90 of the largest 95 U.S. cities, students of color are more likely to attend schools with mostly poor or low-income peers than their white counterparts, according to a recent story from The Atlantic. This inspires me to serve as a City Year Jacksonville AmeriCorps member. I believe that every child and community deserves to be successful, regardless of their socio-economic status or their ZIP code.
 
City Year brings talented young adults, like myself, together and prepares us to serve in teams across the country, at high-need schools. My teammates and I provide academic support and mentorship to students through one-on-one and small group interventions. 
 
On a day-to-day basis, it sometimes can be difficult to tell if I am making a difference through the interactions with my students. Improvement doesn’t happen over night. Success comes in little wins, like it did with one student whom I will refer to as Z. During my first week of service in a 3rd-grade English Language Arts classroom, I didn’t really notice Z because he was very quiet and well-behaved. But the second week Z started to become the center of attention in the classroom by talking loudly and disrupting others. I started noticing that Z acted out when he felt frustrated or uninterested in academic work. As a result, his grades were dropping. 
 
Quickly, I supported him with one-on-one behavior interventions during class time and during lunch time. We talked about modeling positive leadership, how to manage his feelings of frustration and disappointment, and how to express his feelings verbally rather than by acting out in class. 
 
When Z and I worked one-on-one, he could focus on his work without any distractions. Despite some “bad days” Z started making progress. Through this persistence (both his and mine!), the little goals started to add up and I began to recognize patterns of success. The day that report cards were given to students, Z ran up to me and showed me his grades; he made the A/B honor roll list for the first quarter! At that moment, I knew that I was making a difference in his life, helping build his literacy skills, giving him more challenging work even after we’re done with the homework my partner teacher assigned and helping Z stay accountable for holding respectful values throughout the day with others. As my service year continues, I am thrilled to continuously build a stronger relationship with Z and other students like him. 
 
One day, while I was strolling through Treaty Oak Park in Jacksonville, I noticed the quote, “Never doubt that a small of group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” This quote by Margaret Mead resonated with me because of the amazing experience I am having on my City Year team. We embody the diversity, unity, collaboration, and idealism needed to achieve our goals for our school, students and City Year as a whole – and it’s inspiring to know my teammates are supporting their own students and AmeriCorps members across the country are making an impact every day. Even through the difficult moments, such as the challenges I faced connecting with Z and other students at first, my team constantly uplifts me to strive for more and bring me back into perspective of why I serve. 
 
Johnson’s Bio:
Johnson Ho is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. He graduated from Terry Parker High School and the University of North Florida, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology with a concentration in child development. Johnson also interned at Head Start and a local afterschool program, which led him to pursue the field of education and become a City Year AmeriCorps member. Johnson’s favorite thing about Jacksonville is the Riverside area, where he frequents the amazing restaurants and socializes with the friendly locals. Johnson’s goal this school year is to help students by instilling confidence, encouraging hard work, and bringing smiles to faces! After City Year, Johnson will serve as an Urban Teacher in Washington D.C. for the next four years, continuing his passion for educational equity.
 
Image of an AmeriCorps member helping a child out.
The Crisis of Sports in Inner-City America
2016 to 2017
Today, a child waking up in a low income urban community is four times less likely to play sports after school than a child waking up in a more affluent community a mile down the road. Today, kids who should be kicking soccer balls and swinging baseball bats after school, instead, will spend part of today hanging out on the street or getting locked in their apartment by a parent who has no other option for ensuring their safety.
 
The reason?
 
Youth sports have become de-prioritized in a public education system that is measuring itself exclusively by whether or not a child can pass a standardized test. The result of this "all-hands-on-test" philosophy is budget cuts aimed increasingly at "non-essential" programs like sports. This is a crisis. Not because we are failing to cultivate a future Olympic gold medalist or NBA star, but because it hurts our public schools and our communities. We know from numerous studies that youth who play sports have more positive outcomes than those who do not. Youth athletes are less likely to join gangs. They are less likely to get in fights at school, and they are less likely to carry weapons. Student athletes also exhibit stronger executive function skills that are associated with greater academic performance and they experience less anxiety and depression, which are linked to substance abuse and teen suicide.
 
Solving the crisis of sports in inner-city America requires that we raise public awareness of the problem and its consequences for the well-being of America's youth. Sports are essential to academic success, community safety, public health and even our economy. After all, the cost of hiring a coach in the south side of Chicago can save taxpayers as much as twenty-nine times that amount in dollars saved from kids being incarcerated or dropping out of school.
 
Revitalizing youth sports will also necessitate more public-private partnerships to invest in sports in just the same way that these investments impact education, the environment, and our public infrastructure. This kind of investment is largely a human capital one because sports programs require coaches. That's where AmeriCorps comes in. AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service that engages 75,000 Americans each year in intensive service in nonprofits, schools, public agencies and faith-based institutions. This federally funded agency has been the catalyst for addressing many societal needs, and now it can be credited with one more: the formidable task of saving youth sports. Through AmeriCorps, Up2Us Sports launched a program called Coach Across America, which hires and trains young adults to be coaches for at-risk youth in underserved communities. Nearly 2,000 coaches have been trained in major cities across the U.S. and have helped launch and expand sports programs in more than 240 urban communities. Private companies play a major role in the effort. Health corporations match AmeriCorps funding to provide coaches to address childhood obesity. Professional sports teams match AmeriCorps funding to hire coaches to reduce community violence. Defense corporations match AmeriCorps funding to hire returning veterans as coaches. Each of these public-private partnerships also provides jobs to the thousands of young adults who use their coaching roles to launch careers in health, recreation and nonprofit management.
 
The work to address the crisis of youth sports has just begun, but the foundation laid by AmeriCorps to leverage corporate investment is making a tangible difference. Today, nearly fifty thousand youth are waking up excited to go school because they know they have a team they belong to and a coach who cares about their future. That's the unique power of service and the impact of those corporations that invest in it.
 
View the blog here
Image of Katy Martin and Julia Wcislo
Katy Martin and Julia Wcislo
Rebuilding Together Nashville 2016
The experience of a Nashville Native and a New York Newcomer” 
 
Katy Martin and Julia Wcislo  are both serving as AmeriCorps members with Rebuilding Together Nashville. They have different perspectives on service at their affiliate considering Julia is a Nashville native and Katy comes from western New York. 
 
Julia: 
After graduating from college this past spring with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, I knew I wanted to do something that was going to be impactful. Service has always been an important part of my life which is why serving as an AmeriCorps member with Rebuilding Together was so appealing to me. Throughout high school I was involved with a program called “Room In the Inn” here in Nashville. During the winter months, the program gives homeless men, women and families shelter at various congregations around the city. This was meaningful to me because I was able to support a group of people who are unfairly neglected and stigmatized. I had the opportunity to connect with these individuals, learn their stories and make sure they received the help they needed. This experience led me to put service forward as a priority in my life. 
 
Serving with Rebuilding Together Nashville has given me the opportunity to return home and serve my community. The great thing about serving with Rebuilding Together is the hands-on experience and versatility of the work. I have been able to acquire new skills and expand on those, in addition to exploring new avenues that will be essential and unique to my career. This year so far, I was a project leader, interacted with and helped homeowners and learned how to provide home repairs like installing flooring. I also had the opportunity to process applications and oversee home inspections, in addition to  implementing home safety projects that helped 2-4 homeowners each week. I can’t express to people how much this program has impacted my life. All I can say is: take a chance, get ready to serve a community – wherever that may be – and don’t doubt that you will make a difference.
 
Katy:
The opportunity to serve low-income homeowners, learn about home repair, explore a new area of the country and visit with family are all factors in my transition to middle Tennessee from western New York. I am so glad I chose to take on a year of service between graduation and pursuing a career. I graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College with a bachelor’s degree in Communication, and have been able to apply my education to my service term. I serve as the AmeriCorps Outreach Coordinator here at Rebuilding Together Nashville, and this experience has turned out to be much more than what I anticipated.
 
Not only have I built on skills I brought to this role, but I have also learned about what hazards to look for in a home that cause significant health and safety issues. I continue to learn from our skilled volunteers and house captains. In the first week of service, Julia and I were installing insulation and laminate flooring. Fast forward to MLK Week in Louisiana, and I repaired a tiled bathroom floor on my own. In the same home, I also used a sledgehammer to take down an unsafe set of stairs (to be replaced, of course!). There are so many tools and tricks to master when it comes to home repair. So far, the nail gun has been my favorite. Now, I can’t imagine building a deck (or anything for that matter) without one!
 
What’s amazing about this experience is how valuable and applicable the knowledge I’m acquiring is and how applicable it is to the rest of my life. I am being equipped to serve others beyond the end of my service term. I am making an impact on the homeowners who need our help. I am also learning and growing myself, so that I can continue to offer skilled help in the future. Since I started in August 2015, I had the opportunity to act as a house captain and lead my own project. I also had the opportunity to play a role in scheduling and planning repair projects, to organize and host a training meeting for our house captain team, and make some great connections with homeowners in this community. 
 
Whether I stay in the area or not, I know this experience has better equipped me in the areas of home repair, communication and teamwork. I love helping homeowners live in safe and healthy homes, and this is why #IAmAmeriCorps. 
 
photo of Stacia Kingsbury
Stacia Kingsbury
AmeriCorps VISTA
2015 to 2017
My AmeriCorps VISTA service story at Mano en Mano is just one of many across the state of Maine. Mano en Mano falls under the auspices of the Goodwill VISTA Partnership sponsored by Goodwill Northern New England (Goodwill NNE), an intermediary between many of the sites scattered across Maine and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). I have been fortunate to be part of Goodwill NNE's VISTA50 cohort in Maine, which is made up of roughly 30 individuals. 
 
People 'from away' think of Maine as having a rugged coastline dotted with quaint towns, lobster perpetually steaming in pots, and L.L. Bean booted, flannel-donned folks with funny accents out on boats. While this image is partially true, the 'Real Maine', as Mainers call it, paints quite a different picture. 
 
Maine is a rural, welfare state with a poverty rate of 14.1%; annual per capita income is $27,332; food insecurity peaks at 16.2%; finally, oil dependency coupled with some of the oldest housing in the nation makes it expensive for people in Maine to stay warm during long, cold winters. On the bright side, wonderful pockets of diversity are sprinkled throughout Maine: Somali refugees now call Lewiston home, Mexican and Central Americans harvest the ocean and land of the great Washington County, and the Vietnamese have laid down roots in Portland. 
 
AmeriCorps VISTAs are vital to Maine because the issues here are multifaceted and require a varied skill set. My VISTA colleagues at Goodwill NNE offer a myriad of talents and experiences that empower them to address each social issue with compassion and savvy.
 
View the rest of the blog here.
Image of Britani Lee-Carmichael
Britani Lee-Carmichael
AmeriCorps VISTA in New Jersey 2015
Hi my name is Britani Lee-Carmichael. I am a peer navigator with for AmeriCorps. You may ask what that is. My sole purpose is to connect veterans who have selflessly served our country. These veterans need not only need an ear to listen, but also resources to help maintain their daily lives.
 
As a veteran myself coming from the Air Force I had my own troubles. It was then that I was informed about AmeriCorps. I jumped at the opportunity to help give back to my fellow comrades. It is not very often that a military person will expose their struggles to someone else. We are taught to hold our heads up high and fix the issues ourselves. This however is not always the best way to handle tough situations. 
 
For the past six months I have had  wonderful opportunities to get to know several Vets. I  can honestly call some my friends. These veterans have not only overcome emotional stress but they have overcome countless setbacks. There is no more rewarding feeling than to know you had a direct effect on someone else’s happiness.
 
Image of an AmeriCorps member with two students
Reading Partners
Reading Partners 2016

How AmeriCorps members activate communities to make a difference

At the core of service is a shared goal – to make a difference. AmeriCorps members serving in local communities across the nation set out to address some of our nation’s greatest challenges, like poverty and access to quality education. They realize that change and growth isn’t the work of one, but the shared strength of many.
 
By providing skilled leadership and modeling a commitment to service, AmeriCorps members activate and inspire communities to create lasting, positive change.

 

Mobilizing communities to give back
 
You won’t find an individual much more passionate about spending time serving in the community than an AmeriCorps member. And that’s why they are the “best of the best” when it comes to mobilizing communities to volunteer. In fact, this year 21 AmeriCorps members serving as volunteer coordinators at Reading Partners will recruit and facilitate 14,000 volunteers working one-on-one tutoring kids in reading.
 
AmeriCorps members are also creative thinkers, and find new ways to get people involved. Volunteer coordinators like Nick Hamrol in Silicon Valley and Alexis Acciani in Baltimore have helped enlist corporate and community partners like Crystal Springs, College of San Mateo, Amazon, UPS, and more to contribute hundreds of volunteer hours to helping kids learn to read. They’ve also found innovative new ways to get volunteers involved; executing the collection and distribution of more than 30,000 books, launching a tutor ambassador programs, and engaging high school students via text messaging.
 
Training volunteers for impact
 
AmeriCorps members are inspiring teachers and leaders. Through programs like Reading Partners and Habitat for Humanity, AmeriCorps members equip community volunteers with the tools and resources they need to accomplish extraordinary things, like jumping two grade levels in reading or building a house for a family.
 
This year alone, AmeriCorps members serving with Reading Partners will spend hundreds of hours training and coaching volunteers to provide effective reading support to kids in need.
 
In the Twin Cities, one site coordinator is going above and beyond to ensure Reading Partners is engrained in the school culture. In addition to spending her working hours training and supporting volunteer reading partners in the reading center, Grace Herndon spends her lunch hour serving food to students in the cafeteria at Hamline Elementary. Her passion a commitment to ensure the wellbeing of students at Hamline encourages volunteers to bring the same commitment to helping students learn to read.
 
Demonstrating a commitment to service
 
Everyday AmeriCorps members are doing work to make a tangible difference in the  communities they serve. They work hard, get things done for the betterment of humanity, and do it all on a budget. Their stories of service are awe-inspiring and motivate others to #serveAyear.
 
Tom Martin’s story of service is particularly inspiring. Having learned about Reading Partners through a local church, Tom started volunteering. When he heard the Texas Reading Partners team was looking for individuals to serve as AmeriCorps members, Tom decided to come out of retirement and transition into a school classroom. After a career in sales, the former Air Force officer found a new passion for education and service as a Reading Partners site coordinator.
 
Making long term impact
 
For AmeriCorps alumni, their commitment to making a difference lasts well beyond their year of service. More often than not, AmeriCorps members continue their mission-driven work, entering service-minded career paths and turning their passions into careers.
 
Kate Brown is one of the many AmeriCorps members whose work with Reading Partners has blossomed into a career pathway. After two years serving as a development coordinator*VISTA in Charleston, Kate joined the team as a full-time development coordinator. Kate now spends 40 hours a week securing vital funding and community support for Reading Partners Charleston.
 
Each member serving a year with AmeriCorps has a unique and inspiring story of service. Share your #IamAmericorps story with us online. Don’t have an AmeriCorps story yet? Find out how you can join the movement.
 
View the blog here

 

photo of Yadira Salinas
Yadira Salinas
College Possible
2015 to 2016
Name: Yadira Salinas
Age: 24
Hometown: Saint Paul, MN
Program/Time Served: College Possible, 1 year 7 months
 
What led you to serve in AmeriCorps? 
I wanted to serve as an AmeriCorps member because I wanted to give back to the community that once gave me the opportunity to work towards a Bachelor’s degree. With the guidance and support of College Possible, I was the first in my entire family to enroll into and graduate from a 4 year University. I wanted to take the opportunity and work with students to achieve the same as I did.
 
What’s the most surprising thing you have learned during your term of service? 
Coming back as a coach after being a student in the program, the thing that was most surprising to me was how much time and energy you can put into your day in order to work with all 40 of your students and accomplish all that you need to. I love what I do and I love working with my students. It takes a lot more than you can imagine, but it is worth it in the end!
 
If you could pick anyone to serve with you in AmeriCorps, who would it be? 
If I had to choose someone to serve with me, I would choose one of my cousins because she went through a tough time in junior and high school. But she turned things around, was the first one in her family (youngest of 4) to graduate from high school and is now in her third year of college. She now wants to work with students as well to help get them into higher education and this would be the perfect opportunity to do so.
 
Who inspires you? 
There are many people who inspire me in this world to become a better person, but I definitely have to give credit to my parents! They came to the United States before I was born and created a wonderful family. They did not have much when they arrived but have continuously worked to give their children the chance for better education and a better life. When things get tough, I can always look to them for inspiration of how far they have come and remember how far I can still go in life.
 
What one word would your team members use to describe you when serving? 
If I had to choose one word one word that my co-workers would use, I would use Enthusiastic. I am passionate for the service that I do and I use my energy to motivate my co-workers and students in any way that I can. No matter what needs to be done, it always helps to have a little bit of energy and positive attitude! I feel that this trait of mine has helped my team out this year when serving our students.
 
What do you plan to do after AmeriCorps? 
After serving with AmeriCorps, I want to do similar work that I do now and continue to work with more students and guide them to get into higher education.  Ever since I was deciding on what career path to take, I have wanted to work with helping get students into higher education and helping their transition once they are there. Now after working with students on the other end of things, I have not changed my mind at all! I love working with students and this is definitely that path that I want to continue.
 
Image of Lee Scandinaro
Lee Scandinaro
AmeriCorps VISTA
2016 to 2017
I joined AmeriCorps VISTA to help serve a program I care deeply about. Without the support of AmeriCorps VISTA, my site wouldn’t be as successful as it is today. Because of this, I truly see the value in service and feel more committed to being a positive change maker in my local community. Local is ever more important to me as I see that commitment on a local scale can really make the difference. 
 
Coming from a background of critical media studies, I'm a big thinker and very much an academic. I love wrestling with issues on a national scale and contemplating humanities biggest struggles. This year, AmeriCorps gave me the opportunity to gain the real hands on experience I was missing as a scholar yet apply the lessons I learned to my every day work. I'm constantly rooted in my education as I sort through ideas on the page to implement them in real life. 
 
Though I still contemplate tough issues, those issues are now grounded in reality. A reality based in relationships with people going through the day to day struggles of living in such a reality. AmeriCorps VISTA allows me to deepen relationships with individuals in order to deepen my understanding of my town and my service. 
 
To learn more about me and so many others serving across the country with AmeriCorps, follow us us Instagram and Snapchat account, nationalservice. #AmeriCorpsWorks
United Way group photo
AmeriCorps VISTAs serving w/ United Way
2016 to 2017
When many people think of the Seattle area, they picture a vibrant economy driven by the booming tech industry and a geographic bounty of lush forests and deep blue water. While it’s true that Seattle’s economy is recovering well from the recession, many of our neighbors have been left behind. Today, 12% of people in Seattle and King County live in poverty, and the 2016 One Night Count found over 4,500 unsheltered people living in our community. United Way of King County finds these realities unacceptable and is working to help 50,000 people rise out of poverty, reduce the number of unsheltered people by 50%, and ensure 80% of kids are ready for kindergarten and 50% of disconnected youth are on the path to success. 
 
AmeriCorps VISTA is a critical tool to accelerate our impact in solving our community’s toughest challenges. Since 2013, our VISTA team has grown from 10 members to 44, enabling us to place members with partner agencies around King County that are also working to help achieve our ambitious goals. The impact has been swift, broad, and meaningful. In 2015, our AmeriCorps VISTAs helped agencies reach nearly 55,000 low-income people in King County by engaging over 175 agencies in capacity building and recruiting and managing over 2,000 volunteers. The 2016 team is on its way to serving a goal of 240 agencies and over 35,000 clients. With the support of our outstanding AmeriCorps VISTAs:
 

- Youth will graduate from high school, attain high school equivalency or will be connected to and complete post-secondary education.

- People experiencing homelessness will receive housing loss prevention services, rapid re-housing and housing-first support.

- People will rise out of poverty with increased income supports and public benefits, including access to SNAP, EITC and Child Nutrition Programs.

- Families will have the tools to maximize food budgets and increase access to healthy foods. 

United Way’s AmeriCorps VISTA project portfolio highlights the community change possible when a federal program like AmeriCorps VISTA combines forces with a local capacity-building agency like United Way and valuable partner agencies working to make specific impact in the community. Among many achievements of the 2015 AmeriCorps VISTA cohort, Nat Neville’s service at Horn of Africa Services stands out. Nat spent the year strengthening and developing programming for East African immigrant and refugee students. Nat developed curriculum to strengthen student success and life skills programming and revamped the tutor training process to ensure services were more effective for youth. Nat also submitted a grant proposal and was awarded a $3,000 grant to fund new summer programming for 20 youth. In enhancing both the content and delivery of youth programming at Horn of Africa Services, Nat engaged in fighting poverty from multiple angles and impacted the quality of education and supportive services for some of our community’s most vulnerable populations—immigrant and refugee youth.
 
One of the most exciting aspects of the United Way of King County AmeriCorps VISTA team is that members are working on such complex and varied projects that the team’s impact is truly widespread. For example, Adam Schmid, a United Way VISTA placed at the City of Seattle, is working on streamlining and managing a complex coordinated entry system for veterans accessing social services across Seattle and King County. Because of his contributions, 1,000 homeless veterans were housed in the last 6 months and this pilot program is planned to expand county-wide for all people experiencing homelessness. 
 
These are just two stories of how United Way of King County AmeriCorps VISTAs are getting things done. Together, we are building a community where people have homes, students graduate, and families are financially stable. Together, we are fighting poverty!
 
To learn more about us and so many others serving across the country with AmeriCorps, follow us us Instagram and Snapchat account, nationalservice. #AmeriCorpsWorks
 
Image of Connor Smalling
Connor Smalling
AmeriCorps VISTA Campus Compact
2015 to 2016

Everyone has a story to tell. What matters the most, is how that story is being told. AmeriCorps offers the chance for people to live out their story and tell it through service to others. I’ve been so lucky to meet people from all over the country who are passionate about serving others and making a difference. During my year of service, I’ve met VISTA’s serving in Ohio, Florida, California, Alaska, Texas, Hawaii and of course my home state of Oregon.  I want to tell the story of an awesome team of VISTA members who are making a huge difference at their various sites throughout Oregon and are working on issues ranging from literacy to sustainable mentorship programs to making education more accessible so people can break the cycle of poverty. 

I am a member of the Oregon Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA team. We have 23 members throughout the state serving in cities from Portland to Eugene to Newport where I am currently serving. One thing that I have noticed about our team is how we all come from different places but we all share the common thread of service in our stories. We have members who are from St. Louis, San Diego, San Antonio, Portland, Hawaii, Ohio and Wisconsin.

All of us have our different reasons for serving. I chose to serve because it was a natural fit since I was involved with the service learning team in college and it's a great way to pay for my future grad school. Other members of the team serve for other reasons. One of our members, Denzel, joined AmeriCorps because he served a lot in the mid-west where he's from but wanted to explore and serve in a new place. Regardless of why they chose to serve, every member of the Oregon Campus Compact VISTA team has decided to dedicate a year of their life to serving those who face poverty on a daily basis.

Not only have all the Oregon Campus Compact members chosen to dedicate a year to service but they are making a difference and building capacity at each of their sites to break the cycle of poverty. One of the members of the team, Alicia, is serving to develop and implement a College and Career Center at an alternative high school for youth who have struggled to succeed in conventional public schools. There's also Suzy who is motivating and building a sustainable volunteer program with college students from the University of Oregon to serve at local agencies and improve the civic vitality of Eugene. There's Jake from the Shadow Project who is serving with Portland Public Schools and their special education program to improve childhood literacy. I could go on and on about every member on this team and the impact they are having at their sites. It just so inspiring and encouraging to interact with all of these individuals and to hear stories of what they are accomplishing at their various sites. 

This team has had an overwhelming year. There have been great times, and times where things have been a little hectic. We have stuck together through it all and learned what it means to lean on and support each other. I'm reminded of the South African phrase of Ubuntu. Ubuntu means my wellbeing is tied to the wellbeing of others. I can't think of better way to describe this amazing team of VISTA's I am a part of. This isn't true for just the team of Oregon Campus Compact VISTA's but for every AmeriCorps member and the populations they are serving all over the country. We are all tied together through this story of service being written; from the snow covered mountains in Alaska to the sandy shores of the Gulf, from the Redwoods of California to the offices of Washington D.C., from the Cities of Ohio to the Stormy Oregon Coast. Together we can add chapters to the story that is AmeriCorps and one day truly make poverty history. 

Image of Lyndsey Sturkey
Lyndsey Sturkey
Habitat for Humanity
2014 to 2016
My Habitat AmeriCorps experience. 
 
I didn’t realize how serious the lack of affordable housing was until I came to Habitat for Humanity. I grew up in a house where I had my own room, with a yard to play in. I didn’t have to worry about lights not working. I didn’t have to worry about my safety if I went outside. It took me a long time to realize that not everyone was as lucky as I was. 
 
My responsibilities during my years of service with Habitat AmeriCorps included doing outreach and guiding families through the homeownership application process. While this mostly resulted in fielding phone calls and people dropping by the office, I was also there to listen to families when they needed someone to talk to, even if it was only 10 minutes. 
 
Those of us in family services know that it’s common to bring our work home with us. We all have a story that stays with us forever, a story that reminds us why we do this even when it seems too hard. For me, it’s the family of seven living in a two-bedroom apartment. Their living room was so small you could touch the walls on either side if you held out your arms; the back door was locked with duct tape; mold was making them sick. 
Experiencing firsthand the conditions so many families endure before becoming Habitat homeowners is both shocking and galvanizing. My fellow Habitat AmeriCorps alums will agree that it doesn’t take long before our attitudes toward community development go from “what can we do?“ to “what can’t we do?“ We immediately recognize the need to enact change, and we’re ready and willing to do whatever it takes. 
 
My time at Habitat has taught me so much about housing inequality and situational poverty that it’s hard not to see it everywhere. I learned how easy it is for families to get stuck in a cycle of low-income housing, how working two or sometimes even three jobs doesn’t necessarily lead to financial sustainability. Many families dream of homeownership, but the possibility is always just out of reach. At Habitat, we make safe, decent, affordable housing attainable. 
 
Our work, however, goes beyond construction sites. I’m empowering families when I help them realize that they can own a Habitat home. When I talk to applicants and partner families about budgeting, I’m helping them grow their wealth. When I facilitate a workshop on home maintenance, I’m creating a situation where families can have pride in their home and neighborhood. Serving with Habitat, I’m making my community safer, stronger and healthier. 
 
As the number of Habitat AmeriCorps’ national alums grows, I know that we will continue to advocate for affordable housing. But to succeed, we need AmeriCorps members to carry the torch for us in communities where Habitat works across the U.S. If you’re still reading this blog post, it’s because you also have the spirit, dedication and drive to make affordable housing attainable for all. Working together in partnership with our communities, we can make our voices heard. I did. You can. 
 
Group photo of AmeriCorps NCCC Team Earth 4
AmeriCorps NCCC Team Earth 4
2016 to 2017
We are Earth 4, an AmeriCorps NCCC team from the Southwest Region campus in Denver, Colorado! Our team has been serving in San Marcos, Texas since January 8th and we will remain here through the end of March. The San Marcos area endured three major disasters within five months in 2015; two floods and one tornado. We have been working with the Blanco River Regional Recovery Team clearing debris, rebuilding Section 8 projects and home rehabilitation. Our team has learned a bunch of construction skills including tiling floors, installing doors, trim, molding, insulation and drywall. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time here in Texas and are excited to see our project through over our final weeks here! 
 
Meet the Ten Memebers of the Team!
 
View the rest of the blog here.
photo of Dana-kae Walsh
Dana-kae Walsh
Citizen Schools
2015 to 2017
Dana-kae Walsh, Teaching Fellow at Bronx Writing Academy
 
Citizen Schools’ National Teaching Fellows serve in schools across the nation; creating extraordinary enrichment and academic opportunities that build the skills, access and beliefs children need to thrive as students and succeed as adults. 
 
Teaching Fellows support public school teachers, both during the traditional school day and during extended learning time hours, to bridge bridge the disparity between opportunities available to low income students and their more affluent peers. Fellows also deepen connections between schools and parents, develop social emotional skills by mentoring and coaching students  and facilitate the delivery of hands-on learning opportunities we call apprenticeships.
 
The monthly TF Spotlight shines a light on the AmeriCorps members serving at Citizen Schools and their impact on local communities.  This month features Dana-Kae Walsh, a Teaching Fellow completing her second year of service at Bronx Writing Academy in Bronx, NY.
 
Why did you decide to become an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow? 
 
Giving back to my community has been a major part of who I am and working with students has always given me joy. As an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow, I am given the chance to not only do a service for others, but also work with inner city youth. In my day-to-day, I get the opportunity to interact and build positive relationships with my students. I get to build a connection/bond by sharing my knowledge and experiences with them. In return, I learn about who they are and how I can support them in the most effective manner. I decided to serve because I am able to make a difference. I first heard about Americorps when I was completing my senior year of college and I have always been attracted to the idea of helping others, especially students who are living out a similar experience as I did. I wasn’t exactly 100% sure of what I wanted to do career-wise, even as a college senior. However, I always knew that I wanted to work in education and even more closely with students. Americorps presented the opportunity and its sole purpose is to making a difference and I gravitated to that purpose. 
 
What has been one of the most impactful moments of your service?
 
One of the most impactful moment was when I was provided the opportunity to start a girls club at the Bronx Writing Academy, which gives an outlet or safe space for my students to learn more about themselves and gain resources to improve their leadership, interpersonal, communication and teamwork skills. Before launching the club, I wrote a proposal outlining my mission, the purpose, a typical meeting agenda, and the outcome(s) or results of having this club. Once the club launched, I had a total of 15 girls, who came with different personalities and goals they wanted to accomplish. My girls were extremely enthusiastic and excited to have a safe space where they could work as a team to discuss the challenges they face in a manner where they are unable to do so on a daily basis. This made me even more passionate and dedicated to making sure that their goals are being accomplished. Today, the club is still up and running. More girls have joined and continue to be enthusiastic about being apart of a team. 
 
How has service changed you and/or your perspective of the world?
 
I believe that I have improved on my own leadership capabilities and self-confidence. Serving with Americorps has motivated me to step outside of my comfort zone and to work with others on several projects that have strengthen my professional and personal skills. Americorps has opened my eyes to a whole new world of opportunities. I’ve always believed in Ghandi’s quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Serving as an Americorps member gave me the opportunity to meet others who are working towards the same goals. I now know that it is imperative to be more empathetic with others and their experiences. Also, I have more of an open mind to others, how they live and maneuver their day-to-day.
 
Learn more about Citizen Schools and read additional Teaching Fellow Spotlights at citizenschools.org.
 
photo of Antuan Wilson
Antuan Wilson
AmeriCorps VISTA
2016 to 2017
Hello, my name is Antuan Wilson. I’m an AmeriCorps VISTA serving as the Asset Building Coordinator at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.
 
Embedded within each of us is an impetus – a force that guides us through life.  It drives us to make decisions; it supports us when we are faced with obstacles.  It is our “reason.” Our reason for being, for feeling, for doing. I’d like to tell you my reason. The reason #AmeriCorpsWorks for me.
 
I could start by telling you how I left my decent salary position with a Fortune 500 company to become a volunteer – a VISTA, a position many of my family and friends had never heard of – all because of a yearning to give back, to make a difference, to impact the world around me. But I’m not the first, and I won’t be the last, to make that leap from career to volunteer… and this is not my reason.
 
Now take a moment and look deep into your mind’s eye. Picture waking up to lofty mountain  ranges and vanilla skies in the Tucson Valley. Breathe in as the crisp desert air greets your face like an old acquaintance. During your morning commute, you indulge in the beauty of the Saguaro cacti sprinkled throughout the landscape. And you think to yourself, “What will today bring?” Will I help a family gain much-needed medical coverage? Or connect a single mother to food assistance services, so she and her family will no longer have to worry about where the next meal is going to come from?  Maybe I’ll connect newlyweds to the Earned Income Tax Credit – the perfect nest-egg for a down payment on a home. Perhaps all of the above. This has been my life since becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA; but, despite the beauty and poetry, this still doesn’t capture the reason why #AmeriCorpsWorks for me.
 
I’m the parent of a beautiful two-year old girl. When I look into her eyes, I see the world. A world that she will one day inherit. A world in which her father can make a difference in.  A world in which #AmeriCorpsWorks to make a difference. She is my impetus, my force, and the reason why #AmeriCorpsWorks for me.
 

Follow the Action

AmeriCorps Instagram/Snapchat Takeover

AmeriCorps members are taking over the official Instagram (@nationalservice) and Snapchat (nationalservice) channels this week! Follow us all week for an insider look at the AmeriCorps service experience.

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    It's your world!! Apply to become an #AmeriCorpsNCCC team leader by 6/1...
    It's your world!! Apply to become an #AmeriCorpsNCCC team leader by 6/1 at AmeriCorps.gov/NCCC. Your life will be changed forever!

    Likes: 121

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    It is still difficult to comprehend the destruction left behind five years ago...
    It is still difficult to comprehend the destruction left behind five years ago when an EF-5 tornado struck Joplin, Mo., and killed 161 people while decimating a quarter of the town. But despite these unimaginable losses, Joplins story today is about its recovery and the thousands of volunteers whose service supported it every step of the way. Severe weather events test the character of communities, and the resilience of Joplin was certainly tested. Thankfully, at its lowest point, the city was reminded of Americans giving spirit the better angels of our nature which unite us when tragedy strikes. Service is part of the fabric of the American story, and we can see the benefits in Joplin as wave after wave of support streamed across the nation to volunteer in the Missouri town in the storms aftermath. Within eight hours of the tornados touch down, a team of national service members from AmeriCorps St. Louis Emergency Response Team were making their way to the city. This was the first wave of 425 AmeriCorps members who would come to Joplin and become a pillar of the recovery process. They provided immediate assistance by establishing missing persons centers, removing debris, repairing homes, and managing donations. Our AmeriCorps members also coordinated with the Missouri Community Service Commission to manage the thousands of volunteers from a cross-section of America students, church groups, retirees, and others who needed guidance on how they could help. In the first year alone, AmeriCorps-led efforts in volunteer and donation management saved Joplin more than $17.7 million in disaster costs. And across the span of five years, AmeriCorps members helped coordinate many of the 150,000 volunteers who came to the city and provided more than 1 million hours of service to the community.

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    #AmeriCorpsNCCC members are hard at work with boots on the ground in Bogalusa...
    #AmeriCorpsNCCC members are hard at work with boots on the ground in Bogalusa, Louisiana. Proud to see these members mucking and gutting homes devastated by flooding in #LA.

    Likes: 96

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    What if every classroom had a grandparent? Kids need love. Grandparents are...
    What if every classroom had a grandparent? Kids need love. Grandparents are good at giving it. Thats why an army of them is being recruited by the superintendent of schools in Syracuse, N.Y., where too many students have been getting suspended and too few have been graduating. Soon, a foster grandparent will be stationed in every first- and second-grade classroom in all 18 elementary schools in the city. Superintendent Sharon Contreras is hoping the volunteers will enable more kids to build a positive connection with an adult in the school building, which will in turn improve their attendance, behavior, and grades. #SeniorCorpsWorks

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    See the impact that #SeniorCorps #FGP volunteer Grama Freddie is having on her...
    See the impact that #SeniorCorps #FGP volunteer Grama Freddie is having on her students. Making a difference in education is what moves her to keep volunteering! #SeniorCorpsWorks

    Likes: 66

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    Happy #SeniorCorps Week!! All week we're celebrating the impact of 270,...
    Happy #SeniorCorps Week!! All week we're celebrating the impact of 270,000 #SeniorCorps volunteers serving all across the country through #RSVP, #FGP and #SeniorCompanion programs. #SeniorCorpsWorks

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    Celebrating 50,000 followers on the #AmeriCorps Twitter account! We...
    Celebrating 50,000 followers on the #AmeriCorps Twitter account! We appreciate the support and commitment towards this incredible program that is serving communities across the country. #AmeriCorpsWorks #GettingThingsDone

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    #AmeriCorpsNCCC member Emma Ashley-Grose of Water 1 chainsaws brush and old...
    #AmeriCorpsNCCC member Emma Ashley-Grose of Water 1 chainsaws brush and old telephone poles to clear areas at the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail site. #ServetheEarth

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    Top left: At the Anza National Historic Trail, #AmeriCorpsNCCC member Kesslee...
    Top left: At the Anza National Historic Trail, #AmeriCorpsNCCC member Kesslee Steward carefully paints the window frame of a shed. Top Right: AmeriCorps NCCC member Caitlin Matthews of team Water 1 saws out the dimensions for a new shelf. Caitlin and fellow NCCC member Shay Huffman later completed the shelf that houses hand tools, paint buckets and other construction items. Bottom Left: During work for the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, Jordan Reaves of AmeriCorps NCCCs Water 1 cuts lumber for a ramada to give shade to those visiting the historic site. The team will be doing maintenance on the trail that extends from Nogales, AZ to San Francisco, CA. Bottom Right: While serving alongside the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Santa Cruz County, AmeriCorps NCCC team Water 1 helps care for livestock. Follow us today while we take over the AmeriCorps and Corporation for National and Community Services Snapchat account, nationalservice. #ServetheEarth

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    #AmeriCorpsNCCC team Water 1 is celebrating Environmental Stewardship Month...
    #AmeriCorpsNCCC team Water 1 is celebrating Environmental Stewardship Month while serving with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Nogales, AZ of Santa Cruz County. In Nogales, the team is helping to tackle environmental challenges like soil erosion and invasive species. They are also maintaining trails to encourage residents to enjoy their parks Follow us today while we take over the #AmeriCorps and Corporation for National and Community Services Snapchat account, @nationalservice. #ServetheEarth

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  • Celebrating 50,000 followers on the #AmeriCorps Twitter account! We appreciate the support and commitment towards this incredible program that is serving communities across the country. #AmeriCorpsWorks #GettingThingsDone
  • Today #AmeriCorps members serving with @teachforamerica celebrated #CollegeSigningDay by doing prep work for tomorrow's event with IDEA Mission, IDEA San Juan, and IDEA Quest. Graduating seniors from all three campuses were excited and nervous as they waited their turn to go on stage and announce which University or College they will be attending in the fall. Many students beamed with pride as they sat with their classmates and watched their peers announce their school, most of these students will be first generation in their family to attend college. Ms Creary is such an inspirational teacher she really motivates you to push yourself forward. Shes my coach on our Precision Dance Team and she believes in making sure we practice very hard so that we can do our best. Stephanie Manzanares She is the funniest teacher ever! Shes like a second sister to us. Her door is always open and gives us great advice. Francisco Cruz #AmeriCorps #AmeriCorpsWorks #ReachHigher
  • Happy#NationalHighFiveDay from #AmeriCorpsNCCC team, Blue 6 in @sequoia_kingscanyon_np. #AmeriCorpsWorks #NationalParkWeek
  • Nicholas Murray #AmeriCorps member who works with @the_sca Conservation Corps to improve New Yorks hiking trails and protect native species. The person he would most like to join AmeriCorps? #JohnMuir has been a huge influence in my life the last few years. His unbridled passion for the wilderness had an unmatched infectiousness to it. I couldnt see myself feeling uninspired if I worked by his side. #IamAmeriCorps #AmeriCorpsWorks #NationalParkWeek
  • 5/5 Carol Hinke and Allissa Tway of #AmeriCorps NCCC team Blue 6 are serving in @sequoia_kingscanyon_np. The pair have become great friends through this program and their common passion for service. They are even planning a road trip after graduation. Starting their service term as strangers and ending as great friends is only one of the perks of serving with #AmeriCorpsNCCC. Follow us today while we take over the AmeriCorps and Corporation for National and Community Services Snapchat account, nationalservice. #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #NPS100 #AmeriCorpsNCCC #AmeriCorpsWorks #GetThingsDone #SEKI #TeamBlue6 #NationalParkWeek
  • 4/5 #AmeriCorps NCCC Team Leader Brian Green carefully pulls apart a sedge called Carex. This sedge will be planted in Yosemite National Park @yosemitenps as part of their restoration project. The team transplanted almost 600 of these tiny sedges into little tubes, which the @sequoia_kingscanyon_np nursery cleverly named "vaders" because they look like Darth Vader's light saber. It's safe to say the team is already having a great experience even after only serving in the park for a few weeks! Follow us today while we take over the AmeriCorps and Corporation for National and Community Services Snapchat account, nationalservice. #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #NPS100 #AmeriCorpsNCCC #AmeriCorpsWorks #GetThingsDone #SEKI #TeamBlue6 #NationalParkWeek
  • 3/5 In the forefront are 30 black-eyed Susan stems, a beautiful yellow flower which is part of the sunflower family. #AmeriCorps NCCC team Blue 6 worked closely with the @sequoia_kingscanyon_np Nursery Manager to transplant these stems for future restoration projects at the park. Follow us today while we take over the AmeriCorps and Corporation for National and Community Services Snapchat account, nationalservice. #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #NPS100 #AmeriCorpsNCCC #AmeriCorpsWorks #GetThingsDone #SEKI #TeamBlue6 #NationalParkWeek
  • 2/5 #AmeriCorps NCCC member Lauren Oertel and @sequoia_kingscanyon_np Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Steph Dery stand on rocks facing Kings Canyon National Park. Team Blue 6 got the opportunity to visit the park while it was closed to the public to learn about the Rough Fire which torched 110,000 acres of the park late last summer. Follow us today while we take over the AmeriCorps and Corporation for National and Community Services Snapchat account, nationalservice. #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #NPS100 #AmeriCorpsNCCC #AmeriCorpsWorks #GetThingsDone #SEKI #TeamBlue6 #RoughFire #NationalParkWeek
  • 1/5 #AmeriCorps NCCC team Blue 6 is currently serving alongside the @NationalParkService in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in #California. The team is helping @sequoia_kingscanyon_np eradicate invasive species and cultivate native species for future restoration projects. In this photo, Blue 6 stands facing Kings Canyon National Park. During the late summer of 2015, the Rough Fire torched more than 110,000 acres in the Grant Grove area. The blaze jumped across the road to engulf both sides of Highway 180. With the help of more than 2,100 firefighters the fire was eventually 100% contained. Although the fire damaged millions of pine trees on forest lands, it also helped foster the habitat of native plants growing in this area; specifically the California poppy, which holds the team's attention in this photo. Follow us today while we take over the AmeriCorps and Corporation for National and Community Services Snapchat account, nationalservice. #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #NPS100 #AmeriCorpsNCCC #AmeriCorps #AmeriCorpsWorks #GetThingsDone #SEKI #TeamBlue6 #NationalParkWeek
  • Get excited, it's #NationalParkWeek!! Visit a national park for free anywhere across the country! Where will you go? #FindYourPark Did You Know: #AmeriCorps members serving with organizations like @the_sca have served more than 10.4 million hours with the @nationalparkservice and state parks since 1994! We parks and want to keep them for future generations. #ServeTheEarth #AmeriCorpsWorks

#AmeriCorpsWorks Tweets

#AmeriCorpsWorks

Check out our gallery featuring the most recent service photos from around the nation. Use #AmeriCorpsWorks on Instagram and your photos will be featured here!


#DayoftheA

Hundreds of AmeriCorps members from around the country participated in #DayoftheA this year. If you didn't get a chance to share your #DayoftheA picture this year, post it on Instagram soon and it will be featured in the section below.

AmeriCorpsPledge

AmeriCorps members take this inspiring pledge as they begin their service journey. This commitment energizes their AmeriCorps service and lasts throughout their lives. Even if you aren’t an AmeriCorps member, you can pledge to make our country stronger, too. Just change the words “AmeriCorps member” to “American."

I will get things done for America - to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier.
I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities.
Faced with apathy, I will take action.
Faced with conflict, I will seek common ground.
Faced with adversity, I will persevere.
I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond.
I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will get things done.