Today’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 Skidmore 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.
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.
Today’s guest post is sponsored by the IPSL Graduate Program in International Development and Service. The program educates leaders for professional careers with NGOs, educational, and community development organizations with an international and/or diversity focus. Students participate in service-learning throughout and spend time abroad in a variety of countries applying theory to real world civic engagement experiences. To learn more about IPSL, visit their website.
From the first day they pledged to “get things done” to the day they walked into an IPSL classroom, AmeriCorps alums Michael Blair and Derek Miller made service the center of their lives. Below, Michael and Derek share more.
Handing in My FEMA Corps Boots for a Passport by Michael Blair
It has been almost 400 days since I last uttered the AmeriCorps pledge to “get things done for America,” and graduated from one of the most difficult and rewarding chapters of my life. But, as we know, service to others doesn’t end even after you have handed in your FEMA badges or army boots. My next service opportunity with IPSL would result in a shift from thinking domestically to thinking internationally. Read more…
5 Alum Stories That Will Make You Laugh, Give Second Chances, #Stand4Service, and Take a Leap of Faith
You’ve probably heard the expression that you’ll catch more flies with honey. But, did you know you’ll catch more attention if you catch a fly? (It’s harder than it looks without a fly swatter or honey!)
Here’s a round-up of some alum stories that inspired us or made us laugh including one from a Teach For America alum about how a fly made her rethink her teaching strategy.
“If kids think you’re crazy, they’ll pay attention,” says Teach For America alum, Natasha Vaynblat. “One of my favorite ‘make-them-think-you’re-crazy’ moments happened in my fourth year of teaching. I was instructing and there was a fly buzzing around the room. I could tell the kids were paying attention to the fly and not me, so I pretended to catch the fly. I made the motion as if I was about to put the fly in my mouth and eat it, but I hadn’t realized that I had ACTUALLY caught the fly. So when I opened my hand, the fly flew out and almost landed on my tongue! I tried to explain the mishap, but my students just thought I was crazy, which was great because I had them focused for a week.”
Teaching showed Natasha how to get an audience’s attention and not be afraid to get a little silly. She’s now a teacher and performer with Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater in New York City. Check out her story on the Teach For America blog. Read more…
Practice Your Rosie Pose & Get Ready for the Photo Booth: It’s Time for AmeriCorps Graduation Parties!
There’s no cover charge to get in, but you have to be part of a pretty exclusive crowd to get into an AmeriCorps graduation party! Here are a few great events from the AmeriCorps Class of 2015!
AmeriCorps Alums is excited to launch an exclusive one-year partnership with Discover Corps! We’re proud to pilot this new member benefit for alums seeking an international adventure, professional development in global service and community building, and an immersive cultural and volunteer experience.
Discover Corps (founded by returned Peace Corps volunteers!) is a private, service-based travel company that is pioneering new ways to explore life and culture around the world. As an AmeriCorps alum, you (and your traveling companions!) are eligible for a 10% discount on the cost of all Discover Corps trip programs.
To celebrate this launch, Discover Corps is also offering a 20% discount off the program cost of any Costa Rica Sea Turtle Initiative trip taken before November 30th. During this trip, you could be digging up hatched nests to determine the hatch success rate or going out on a boat to capture turtles in nets so that scientists can measure and tag their flippers for monitoring. Also, did we mention, you’ll be in Costa Rica? Read more…
Did you miss our June Virtual Career Fair, sponsored by Teach For America? 24 employers from the education, corporate, nonprofit, government, and healthcare sectors attended our fair and still have hundreds of open roles that might be a fit for you.
Each employer came to our fair looking for talented alums who have the skill and experience to pursue impact careers. Check out the full list below and click over to their hiring page!
- Citizen Schools
- City Year
- Denver Math Fellows
- English First
- Education Enterprises Inc.
- Learn Charter School Network
- Teach For America
- UP Education Network
- Urban Teacher Center (applications open again in August)
- Yes Prep Public Schools
Take a minute to celebrate the AmeriCorps Class of 2015! This year and every year, over 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve at more than 15,000 host sites. That’s an achievement worth celebrating!
Join us in congratulating our newest alums from the AmeriCorps Class of 2015!