2011-2012 AmeriCorps Service Stories
Some of the many stories of service from our AmeriCorps members...
"In a lot of other jobs I have had, it has been hard to see the impact my position has had on the people I served or the community. However, as an AmeriCorps member it has been more common rather than less, to see how my position has directly helped students and the local community, and to receive positive feedback on the value of our program and the impact it has had. For example, over the past few months I have been working with a student who transferred from another school, who is the first person in her family to go to college, and who has needed a lot of extra guidance and support on making college a reality and not just a far away goal. I helped her narrow down prospective schools, fill out her admissions applications, apply for financial aid, register and prepare for the SATs, search for scholarships and try to troubleshoot a lot of problems she encountered due to family stress and financial hardship. She told me over and over how grateful she was for this support, and how at her old school she didn't know anyone who helped with college. Now, she has been accepted to her first choice school, has the money to pay for it and has a solid plan for succeeding next year."
"Not often do I take the time to lie on the cold, damp ground and gaze at the night sky. To be able to do this with fifteen youth in the middle of the Umpqua National Forest was an even more powerful experience. Hearing comments from all around on how some of the students had never seen so many stars, camped outside, or even taken the moment to look up and appreciate our solar system reminded me of the bigger picture that I am currently apart of in facilitating these experiences for these youth at Northwest Youth Corps’ Outdoor High School."
"I really appreciate the opportunities I have been given at my AmeriCorps site. I feel blessed to be working for an organization that recognizes the importance of preparing its workers for their current roles, as well as roles they will hold in the future. I have had the opportunity to learn about wilderness first aid, attend leadership training, and go to a mixer/film screening for young farmers. These are just a few of the special opportunities I have had during my service term with AmeriCorps. These trainings and events not only prepare me to better serve America with new and improved skill sets, but they also keep me content and excited to go to work! I love that my supervisor encourages me to seek out such opportunities and supports me in a well-rounded way. I feel like AmeriCorps is investing in the future of America, by investing in my future and me."
"Call me Jamie Oliver. A large amount of hardy greens over-wintered well in the garden, and last week I harvested over 45 produce bags full of fresh, organically grown kale for the South Corvallis Food Bank. Delivered (along with a dozen bulbs of garlic cloves pulled out of winter storage) on a bike trailer I built this month, I also demonstrated to food bank clients how to cook a quick and easy, delicious and nutritious dish of braised kale and garlic. It was a HUGE hit with everyone there that day - especially the kids who were excited to try our delicious, colorful greens knowing they had been in the ground and growing that very morning. The kids couldn't get enough ("Are we really allowed to have thirds? What about FOURTHS!?") and it made me indescribably happy and proud to see them gobble down a vegetable they had never tried before and love it. One of them couldn't believe it when I told him it could be chopped up and boiled with the noodles for a bowl of green and orange Mac n Cheese Supreme... I couldn't stop smiling the whole ride home that day."