From Our Blog
Edieson Aguirre has been eager to serve in AmeriCorps since before he was old enough to join. As an AmeriCorps tutor at the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Public School System, Edieson tutors students in kindergarten, first grade, and fourth grade.
For AmeriCorps Week, Edieson took time to tell us why he’s motivated to serve and how he makes a difference at William S. Reyes Elementary School.
Why did you decide to join AmeriCorps?
Throughout my high school experience, I felt that I had not yet done something to be proud of. When I learned about AmeriCorps in my junior year, I couldn’t wait to turn seventeen so I could serve as an AmeriCorps member.
How do you make an impact as an AmeriCorps member?
I spend most of my time tutoring students from three different grade levels at William S. Reyes Elementary School. Additionally, with the help of my fellow AmeriCorps members, we lead an after-school reading program with 14 fourth grade students. We help these students improve their reading as well as their vocabulary, enhance their comprehension, and grow as responsible individuals.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned through tutoring?
I’ve learned that the requirements of teaching are not only intelligence and wisdom, but also patience, tolerance, and a sense of humor. Children are very curious about everything and they won’t stop asking questions until they get the answers.
Teaching has been very educational not only for my students but for myself as well. I’m still in the beginning of my teaching career, but I know I will be learning more in the future.
Mar 16, 2018
Edieson Aguirre has been eager to serve in AmeriCorps since before he was old enough to join. As an AmeriCorps tutor at the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Public School System,...
By David Panepinto, AmeriCorps Member
Alaska Legal Services Corporation
As an AmeriCorps attorney member for the past 9 months in Nome, Alaska, I’ve been lucky to serve my community through participation in a Medical-Legal Partnership, an entirely new model for providing legal services to low-income individuals by bringing services directly to them. Instead of the traditional legal services model, in which state-funded attorneys are located in isolated office buildings out of both sight and mind, my office is located within the Norton Sound Health Corporation hospital. My clients are all referred directly by hospital staff, who are uniquely able to identify patients with civil legal needs that affect their health.
Mar 15, 2018
By Chester Spellman, Director of AmeriCorps
As we observe AmeriCorps Week 2018, we have the opportunity to remember the many different ways national service opens doors, expands opportunities, and strengthens communities across the nation.
For more than 20 years, this national service program has been a shining beacon, attracting those who looked within themselves and found a desire to give their time and energy to take on the challenges that our nation faces. And our members represent a cross-section of America, as young people from small towns to big cities and everywhere in between have taken the pledge to “get things done” for America.
What exactly does it mean to “get things done”?
It means answering the call for our citizens in need during natural and manmade disasters, providing hope and encouragement that there will be brighter days ahead in the long recovery process, even after they experience some of the darkest hours of their lives.
It means that communities can take back streets lost to neglect, transforming abandoned spaces into places where people can walk or play without fear.
It means that children and young people can strive for academic achievements that open doors to opportunity, with encouragement from the days before kindergarten through high school and college graduation to put the American dream within reach.
It means accepting the responsibility of stewardship and acting as caretakers of the great natural beauty that our nation hosts from coast to coast and ensuring it can be experienced by future generations.
It means accepting the honor to serve our veterans and military families and show our support as a way to repay the sacrifices they have made for our security and freedom. It means all these things and more.
Mar 13, 2018
In July 2006, Olivia Padilla and her family of four moved into a Habitat for Humanity house in Aurora, Colorado. Prior to moving in, they were living in a small apartment surrounded by an unsafe community in Metro Denver. It was a big deal for Olivia and her family to finally have a home.
“I was only 9 at the time, but I remember one of my happiest moments was learning that we were going to have our own backyard. My siblings and I would finally get bikes to ride around the neighborhood without feeling unsafe,“ says Olivia.
Olivia now serves in AmeriCorps NCCC, a national service program for young adults, ages 18 to 24 years old. Members are placed on teams of eight to 12 and serve on various projects throughout a specified region of the country for months at a time. AmeriCorps NCCC teams address community priorities like conservation, urban and rural development, and disaster response.
“My passions in life are working outdoors, traveling, and helping people,” said Olivia.
Timelapse video of Olivia’s block under construction in 2006.
Mar 12, 2018
Adonnis Martinez, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, spent his childhood at the foot of the Black Hills in Rapid City, South Dakota. Raised by his grandparents and great- grandparents, he was told: “You either go to school or you work. There is no in-between or alternative.” The emphasis on education has been in his family for generations. His great-grandmother and grandmother both attended college at the request of their family. Martinez says that without his family’s support, he wouldn’t be where he is today.
Martinez believes that communities often form from commonalities. Whether these commonalities are cultural, hereditary or geographic, we are part of multiple communities. It was his connection to community that inspired Martinez to take up leadership roles from an early age.
In high school, Martinez was one of two student representatives for Title VII Indian Education grant in the Rapid City Area School District. In college, he quickly became involved in the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT) AISES chapter where he served as Secretary, Vice President, and President. During college, he became a fellow of Rapid City Collective Impact; a cadre of emerging leaders who share the goal of improving the quality of life in Rapid City. Martinez is passionate about giving back, “I didn’t do these things for my resume. I didn’t do them for the title. I did them because it was the right thing to do.”
Mar 11, 2018
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