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You Can Change the World in 5 Hours. Here’s How.

September 2, 2015

josh schukmanToday’s guest post comes from AmeriCorps alum Josh Schukman and originally appeared on his Huffington Post Impact blog on August 12, 2015. Josh served at City Year Cleveland in 2003. After serving, he ventured around the world for college in MN, service in Peru, and financial coaching in TN. Today he’s living in Kansas City and is leading up Social Change Nation, a resource hub for start-up social entrepreneurs who are interested in making a dollar and a difference. 

The most transformative journey of my life began in a beat up Honda Accord. Fresh out of high school, I crammed my little beater with my earthly possessions, swallowed my fear, and pointed that fine piece of Japanese engineering northward. My destination? Cleveland, Ohio. The reason? A year of service with AmeriCorps.

It was August of 2003, and if you had told me just two months before that I’d be headed to Cleveland for a year, I would have told you that you were nuts. Though I wanted to escape rural Kansas for the hustle and bustle of the city, Cleveland was not my vision of a cosmopolitan metropolis. Instead, I had spent my senior year applying to colleges all over New York, Chicago, and LA. But by April, every single one of those schools had rejected me, setting me back to square one just weeks before graduation… Read more…

Visit 33 Grad Schools in 20 States This September

August 31, 2015

Thinking about grad school after AmeriCorps? Come to AmeriCorps Alums Virtual Grad School Fairs on 9/1 and 9/30 (click here and here to register!) and you could visit more than 30 schools in 20 states without leaving the couch. Four of the fair’s schools are online programs and can be completed no matter where you live. You could also win a laptop or a $100 gift card to cover the cost of your application fee if you attend one of our fairs (laptop only offered for attendance at our 9/1 fair and full contest rules here)!

More than 50 fields of study will be represented at the fair including education and teaching; public policy, service, and administration; social work; international service and development; and many more. More than 80 percent of attending schools also match the AmeriCorps education award and/or provide other financial incentives to AmeriCorps alums. Check out our attending schools below!

Gold-Level Grad Fair Sponsor Schools in Attendance

HellerBrandeis University, The Heller School of Social Policy and Management

Programs/Degrees: Business, Education, Environmental & Public Health Policy/Management, International Development, Nonprofit Management, Public Management/Administration/Policy.

Location: Waltham, MA

Fair(s) Attending: Both 9/1 and 9/30

Financial Incentives: Guaranteed minimum 40% tuition scholarship (includes and often exceeds the education award match). The application fee will be waived.

Learn More


Harvard-with-borderHarvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government

Programs/Degrees: MPA, MPP, Master in Public Administration/International Development, 1-year Mid-Career MPA, opportunities for joint/concurrent degrees

Location: Cambridge, MA

Fair(s) Attending: 9/1

Financial Incentives:  Click here for a full list of fellowships and scholarships available through HKS for applicants with a strong commitment to public service.

Learn More:



Programs/Degrees: Master of Science in International Development and Service

Location: Portland, OR

Fair(s) Attending: Both 9/1 and 9/30

Financial Incentives: AmeriCorps Eli Segal Education Award match school (offers a $5,500 scholarship to all qualified AmeriCorps alums). The Segal Education Award can be used in full. In addition, IPSL provides relocation and international flight assistance to eligible students.

Learn More: Read more…

Illinois State’s Stevenson Center Offers Up to $60,000 to Their AmeriCorps Alumni Students

August 26, 2015

stevenson long red logo

Today’s sponsored blog is written by Illinois State University’s Stevenson Center. For questions about the Center’s programs, visit this website, and for financial aid details, explore more here.

AmeriCorps Alums come to Illinois State University’s Stevenson Center for a unique graduate program and an unrivaled value. Our Applied Community and Economic Development (ACED) Fellows Program includes a 100% tuition waiver for all courses AND a paid graduate assistantship. Fellows complete paid professional practice in the second year, gaining invaluable field experience and networking opportunities. The full financial package is worth up to $60,000.

The transition from AmeriCorps to the Stevenson Center ACED Fellows Program to a job proved seamless for alum Ramya Kumaran. Ramya just completed her M.S. in political science and will begin a full-time position with her internship host organization. Ramya shares:

ramya kumaran headshot“During my time with AmeriCorps, I realized my passion for serving high-need communities. The Stevenson Center’s heavy emphasis on community and economic development supports my experiences with City Year and has added deeper context to my year of service. AmeriCorps alumni are prepared to succeed at the Stevenson Center, because they have a foundation based on community development fieldwork. Because of the emphasis on both theoretical and professional practice, the Stevenson Center has prepared me to succeed professionally. In addition, the community of students and faculty that the Stevenson Center fosters has provided me the opportunity to learn and be challenged by perspectives from different disciplines and backgrounds.”

The Stevenson Center’s ACED sub-plan is interdisciplinary, relevant, and challenging. Fellows jumpstart their professional development through: Read more…

5 Tips to Ace Your Grad School Interview Inspired by Cauldrons, Bards, Athletes & Entrepreneurs

August 20, 2015

It takes more than straight A’s to ace a grad school interview. You’re invited to AmeriCorps Alums Virtual Grad School Fairs on September 1st (click here to register) and 30th (click here to register), and here are five things you can do to make a great impression before you even apply.

googly eyes on couch with google quoteGo Googly-Eyed Over Google! Take Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin’s Advice, and Research before You Go. Visit our September 1st and 30th online booths before the fair to browse the schools coming, and then use your favorite search engine to look them up.

You wouldn’t want to be caught asking Harvard’s representatives about their Celtic language courses when the program represented is the John F. Kennedy School of Government (although, seriously, I’d take those classes). Find out what programs the schools have represented at the fair, if they match the Segal Ed Award or have other financial benefits, and what makes an application competitive.

And you’ll want to be ready to compete. We have nearly thirty top graduate schools from across the country ready to meet you including the IPSL Graduate Program in International Development and Service, and Brandeis University’s The Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Read more…

We Need You: A Message from One AmeriCorps Trailblazer to Another

August 11, 2015

Today’s guest blog is written by the AmeriCorps Alums Trailblazers Steering Committee.The Trailblazers are a group of AmeriCorps alumni who started serving between 1994 and 2004. These alums led the way so that others could follow in their path. They are exemplars, who continue to live a life of service as stated with the six powerful words of the AmeriCorps pledge: “my year of service and beyond.” Learn more and join the Trailblazers here

When we joined AmeriCorps, no one knew what it was.Most people didn’t even know how to pronounce it. The uniforms didn’t fit right, and we got a lot of questions from people who didn’t understand what we were doing, or why. And it was the best thing we ever did.

Headshots of Alums' Trailblazers Steering Committee

Steering Committee: Emily Gilliland, William Consuegra, Emily Cherniack, Seth Marbin, and Roger Wong

That’s why we’re launching a new club for early alumni of AmeriCorps – and we want you to join. Read more…

My Journey from an AmeriCorps Volunteer to a Professional Public Servant

August 3, 2015

Andrea Price Headshot 2Today’s guest blog comes to us from AmeriCorps alum Andrea Price who served from 1999-2000 with W. C. Whaley Elementary School in rural Monticello, AR. She holds a B.S. in Exercise and Sports Science from Texas Tech University and a Master’s degree in Sports Science from The United States Sports Academy. She graduated in 2013 from the University of Arkansas-Clinton School of Public Service with a Master of Public Service degree and an award as a top student. Since then, she has founded The Giving Net, an organization that focuses on philanthropy and civic engagement. She also works as the Statewide Philanthropy Outreach Director for the Arkansas Community Foundation.

While I was a college student, I served as an AmeriCorps Volunteer at a rural elementary school where I helped kindergartners with their reading skills. The students I worked with didn’t know their ABCs or letter sounds when I began my year with them. I worked directly with a reading specialist who gave me tools and resources to assist the students with learning letters, letter sounds, and even how to spell and write their names. At the end of my service year, the students were able to read and write, and I am forever grateful that I was able to witness their literacy transformations.

I loved service so much that I began looking for ways to turn it into a full-time career!  Read more…

How Can 8 Days Impact Your Career?

July 30, 2015

discover corps logo with borderToday’s article comes from AmeriCorps Alums’ new member benefits partner Discover Corps, a private, service-based travel company founded by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers that is now offering a 10% discount on their volunteer trips for AmeriCorps alums. It is written by AmeriCorps alum Sandy Cooper.

After graduating from sandy-cooper-headshotSkidmore College, Sandy served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Kiribati. Returning to the USA, she became a Team Leader for AmeriCorps NCCC, managing teams of volunteers in under-served communities. Her commitment to social responsibility led Sandy to co-found Thinking Beyond Borders, an organization designed for Gap Year students to explore international development through global service learning and academic study. Sandy is currently the Director of International Programs at Global Leadership Adventures

Historically, I tend to favor long-term service. I was a Team Leader with AmeriCorps NCCC for a year (getting things done!). I was a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years in the Republic of Kiribati (a country most people have never heard of), and I co-founded Thinking Beyond Borders (a non-profit running global gap year programs). My favoritism makes sense.

Sandy with her AmeriCorps NCCC team, Fire 3 in St. Bernard Parish, LA

Sandy with her AmeriCorps NCCC team, Fire 3, in St. Bernard Parish, LA

Short term volunteering has a bad reputation – in many cases, rightfully so. It is really easy to do more harm than good if you just show up to volunteer and you don’t have experience or strong ties to a local community. All that said, my short trip with Discover Corps to the Dominican Republic had a profound impact on me – complete with fun, inspiration, and positive change… all in 8 days.

Read more…


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