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Explore these Cool, Open Jobs!

November 16, 2016

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Looking for a new role for the new year? Meet the 33 employers that came to our October Career Fair looking to connect with diverse talent from the Alums network for AmeriCorps leadership roles and/or full-time employment.  Check them out and be sure to tell them you’re an AmeriCorps Alum!

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American Red Cross

“With more than 23,000 employees and 330,000 volunteers, the American Red Cross comprises a diverse network of men and women committed to changing the world, one community at a time.”  Now Hiring All Positions – Nationwide

 

 

AmeriCorps NCCC & FEMA Corps In AmeriCorps NCCC, dedicated teams of young adults give back to communities across the country while developing their own skills as leaders. They travel the U.S. for 10 months, providing service and relief to communities in need. AmeriCorps NCCC is comprised of two distinct service tracks: traditional AmeriCorps NCCC and FEMA Corps.

 

 

Blueprint Schools Network (Blueprint) is a nonprofit organization that uses a research-based framework of comprehensive reform strategies to accelerate student achievement in schools across the country.

 

 

CCS Fundraising At CCS, we empower some of the greatest organizations in the world to effect meaningful change—change that impacts lives and improves the condition of the world we live in. http://ccsfundraising.com/careers/

 

College Possible is making college admission and success possible for low-income students through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support.

 

 

Coney Island Prep Everything that we do at Coney Island Prep, every decision that we make, is meant to move our scholars that much closer to succeeding in the college and career of their choice. https://coneyisland.tedk12.com/hire/index.aspx

 

 

Democracy Prep Public Schools is a network of open-enrollment, high-performing, “no excuses” public charter schools operating in New York City, Camden, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The mission of Democracy Prep is to educate responsible citizen-scholars for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship. A simple philosophy guides Democracy Prep staff, scholars and alumni alike: Work Hard. Go to College. Change the World!

 

 

Denver Math and Literacy Fellows Our Mission: Close the opportunity gap by providing small group math and literacy instruction for our highest need students

Denver Math and Literacy Fellow, 2017-2018 – Denver, CO

 

 

ER Assist provides disaster grant software and services.  Our clients are both governmental entities and contractors that serve governmental entities.  We provide disaster planning software, time and equipment tracking software, and disaster recovery grant software.   http://www.erassist.com/hiring/

 

 

Galileo Learning Innovation Camps for Kids. We’re on a mission to develop innovators who envision and create a better world. Join us!

 

Great Oaks Charter School What sets Great Oaks schools apart from other college preparatory charters is our high-dosage tutoring model; the Great Oaks Tutor Corps is a selective cadre of recent college graduates who deliver at least two hours of individualized instruction to every student every day

Great Oaks Tutor Corps – Urban Education Fellowship – Newark, NJ, New York, New York, Bridgeport, CT and Wilington, DE

 

 

Hiawatha Academies Our mission: All Hiawatha Academies scholars will be empowered with the knowledge, character, and leadership skills to graduate from college and serve the common good. https://hiawathaacademies.tedk12.com/hire/index.aspx

 

 

IDEA Public Schools is a growing network of tuition-free Pre-K to 12th grade public schools serving 30,000 students in 51 schools in Austin, San Antonio, and the Rio Grande Valley.

 

KIPP Austin Public Schools believes that every child, regardless of economic background has the right to an exemplary education. At KIPP Austin, we believe that teachers play a critical role in student academic success. We are seeking passionate, mission-driven, and dedicated educators to join our team & family.

 

KIPP Bay Area Schools KIPP is a national network of 200 college-preparatory public charter schools with a 20-year track record of preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and in life. There are currently 11 schools in the Bay Area serving 4,700 students. These innovative, college-prep public schools are located in underserved neighborhoods of Oakland, San Francisco, San Lorenzo, San Jose, and Redwood City. Our newest elementary school will open in East Palo Alto, CA in the Fall of 2017.

Learn more and apply today: www.bit.ly/KBASTRabout

 

Libertas College Prep The mission of Libertas College Preparatory Charter School is to equip middle school students in grades 4-8 with the academic skills and the strength of character needed to thrive in and graduate from high-performing high schools and competitive colleges.

Libertas College Prep is designed to support middle school students through the transition from elementary school to a high-performing high school, allowing  them to eventually enter the college of their choice. Hiring now for the following positions immediately for 2016-2017 team:

Positions available for 2017-2018 team:

 

Mercy Home for Boys and Girls Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, a Catholic institution, transforms lives of suffering into lives of hope and promise by providing A Nurturing Home, Healing for Families, the Means for Growth and God’s Mercy in Action. Mercy Home offers youth who seek a new beginning hope and promise of a healthy and successful future, safety, respect and opportunities for growth.

 

The Literacy Lab’s mission is to provide low-income children with individualized reading instruction to improve their literacy skills, leading to greater success in school and increased opportunities in life. The Literacy Lab serves children from age 3 thru grade 3.

Pre-K and K-3 literacy tutor positions are available in the DC, Baltimore, MD, Richmond, VA and Kansas City, MO metro areas. Interested candidates should apply via our website. For additional questions, please contact the Recruitment Team (recruitment@theliteracylab.org).

 

Meridian Institute is a not-for-profit organization with offices in Colorado and Washington, DC. We also have staff that work in remote offices located throughout the United States and in British Columbia, Canada. At Meridian Institute, we help people solve complex and controversial problems, make informed decisions, and implement solutions that improve lives, the economy, and the environment.

 

Peace Corps Volunteers improve the lives of people in communities around the world, inform the global perspectives of Americans, and turn a life-defining experience into a lifetime of opportunity.

As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you work directly with communities on their most pressing issues while gaining a competitive advantage in today’s global economy with international experience, cross-cultural understanding, and fluency in a foreign language. Peace Corps experience can springboard careers in the government, nonprofit, academic, and private sectors. These are a few of the jobs available right now through the Peace Corps:

 

People’s Prep is dedicated to preparing all its students to get to and through the college of their choice. We understand that for this to happen, we need dedicated teachers and staff members who are committed to closing the achievement gap through hard work. We believe that teachers have one of the most challenging, but also most rewarding jobs ever. Here at People’s Prep, we strive to support our teachers and to help them to continually improve their teaching practice. Currently, People’s Prep has positions open for Teachers and Chief Talent Officer.

 

Playworks Every day, someone at Playworks makes a meaningful difference in the life of a child. From our hundreds of coaches on the playgrounds of low-income urban schools, to those who work in the office to ensure our coaches can continue to serve, Playworks is dedicated to ensuring that kids get the chance to play. There is no other organization in the world quite like Playworks.

Playworks is committed to building an amazing workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve. We honor all who serve with us, and offer a playful working environment based on respect, professionalism, service and fun.

 

At Reading Partners, we envision a future where all children in the US have the reading skills necessary to reach their full potential. Our mission is to help children become lifelong readers by empowering communities to provide individualized instruction with measurable results — and we can’t do this without our stellar AmeriCorps members!

Where we serve: Reading Partners AmeriCorps members serve in a variety of regions, including…

  • California: San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, Sacramento, & Los Angeles
  • Washington: Seattle
  • Texas: Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Minnesota: Twin Cities
  • Oklahoma: Tulsa
  • South Carolina: Charleston & Lake City
  • North Carolina: Charlotte
  • Maryland: Baltimore
  • DC: Washington
  • New York: New York
  • CO: Denver

Reading Partners AmeriCorps – nation-wide – apply here!

 

ReMed Recovery Care Specialists Join the excitement of a dynamic company committed to providing exceptional neurological rehabilitation to adult brain injury survivors! ReMed is a growing organization dedicated to excellence, honesty and ethics in the treatment of our clients and each other. For more than 30 years, we’ve developed programs to meet the diverse needs of clients with moderate to severe traumatic and acquired brain injuries. We provide treatment for post-concussion syndrome, stroke, memory loss, neurobehavioral issues and accident or sports-related head injuries. Our CARF accredited, post acute residential, vocational and outpatient programs are offered in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh regions of Pennsylvania, with current expansion into New Jersey and Maryland/DC/Northern Virginia areas. Visit us online at www.remed.com for more information.

 

 

Riverside Community Care Imagine working for an award-winning, non-profit organization offering mental healthcare, developmental and brain injury services, youth and early childhood programs, addiction treatment, trauma response, and more.

At Riverside you can make a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities by delivering compassionate, locally-based, integrated care.

 

 

Rocky Mountain Prep, an innovative, public elementary charter school network in the Denver-metro area. Our mission is to educate students in pre-kindergarten through 5th grade with the rigorous academic preparation, character development, and individualized support necessary to succeed in a four-year college and life. Please feel free to take a look at our VISTA and Fellowship Opportunities! VISTA positions start immediately.

Fellowship opportunities are a July 2017 start!

 

 

Summit Preparatory Charter School Through rigorous academics and the development of active citizenship, Summit Preparatory Charter School educates fourth through eighth grade students for success in the most selective high schools and colleges.  Our team is made up of a highly collaborative group of teachers and staff who share a passion for closing the achievement gap. We have high expectations for academics and discipline, and simultaneously value joy in the classroom, making learning fun for our students and teachers. We believe that teachers are leaders on campus, and play a significant role in decision making and professional development.

Ideal candidates are passionate, driven, and dissatisfied with the educational status quo – if you believe all children deserve access to an excellent education, we look forward to speaking with you.

 

Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates, graduate students, and professionals – of all academic majors and career backgrounds – who commit to teach for two years in low-income urban and rural public schools. Our corps members become lifelong leaders in the effort to make a great education and the opportunities that come with it a reality for all students. Teach For America’s network in the 2016-2017 school year includes 8,000 corps members teaching in 53 regions across the country and more than 46,000 alumni working in education and many other sectors to create the systemic changes that will help end educational inequity.

Apply Now To take the next step and view the application, register on our website: teachforamerica.org/apply

 

 

TNTP Teaching Fellows is a rigorous alternative certification program that recruits and trains talented career changers and recent college graduates to be outstanding teachers in high-need schools across the country. We have programs in Baltimore, Indiana, Nevada, and New Orleans.

 

 

UNITE HERE Local 25 is currently seeking applications for the position of Organizer-in-Training. We represent over 6,500 hotel workers in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. We are in the process of building a rank-and-file leadership structure. The purpose of this structure is to increase the participation of the membership in the union and to enhance the union’s ability to mobilize our members for large-scale action in order to organize non-union workers, fight for higher wages and better benefits, and increase the rights of hotel workers in D.C. http://www.dchotelworkers.org/

Applicants must include a resume and cover letter. The cover letter should be clear and concise and explain which position you are applying for, the specific reasons for your interest in the position, and specify with appropriate explanation which of each of the listed qualifications you possess, and which ones you do not possess. The cover letter, resume, references and additional materials should be emailed to: careers@dchotelworkers.org.

 

 

The mission of Urban Teachers is to prepare highly effective teachers who significantly accelerate student achievement in the nation’s highest-need schools. Urban Teachers accomplishes this by recruiting outstanding candidates, equipping them with state-of-the-art training, and linking their certification to their demonstration of effective teaching practices and skills. Founded in 2009, Urban Teachers is on the cutting edge of urban school reform by virtue of its link between teacher effectiveness and certification eligibility. Our residents and teachers will provide the necessary proof points to make a national case for educator effectiveness and accountability. Urban Teachers has offices in Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC and Dallas, TX. Additional regions will join Urban Teachers in the next few years. Learn more on our website: www.urbanteachers.org.

 

 

WSU VISTA Fellows Project Open VISTA positions open across Kansas:  http://www.communityengagementinstitute.org/center-and-initiatives/impact-center-americorps-vista. View available positions:

 

Youth Villages is one of the leading private providers of help to children with serious emotional and behavioral problems and their families. We offer an array of evidence-based programs, designed to help children in the least restrictive setting, preferably their own homes.  With over 60 locations across 11 states, Youth Villages will serve over 18,000 children and families this year with an 83% success rate.  Our programs include, Home Based Counseling, Residential Treatment, Therapeutic Foster Care, Group Homes, Specialized Crisis Services, a Transitional Living Program, and Adoption Services which vary throughout our locations. Youth Villages also offers tuition and licensure reimbursement, full health benefits, wellness programs and many other benefits for our staff.

 

 

From Community Organizing to Teaching: A Segal Fellow Shares her Story of Activism and Service

October 27, 2016

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For the #1of1million celebration in October, AmeriCorps Alums is recognizing alums with unique stories to share. This week, we are catching-up with one of the recipients of the AmeriCorps Alums Eli Segal Leadership Award, Tanika Lynch. Tanika is currently serving as an Urban Teacher in Baltimore, MD.

 

 

 

Congratulations on winning the Alums Segal Education Leadership Award! Out of all your leadership experiences, what was your proudest moment?

I organized in college around private prisons. We were called Columbia Prison Divest (with 10 core organizers and dozens of other contributors) and our goal was to compel the university to divest their stock to the companies that we knew of, and to educate our campus community about mass incarceration. In the beginning when we were goal-setting, we went around and decided what we wanted to see for the campaign by the end of the year. Several other seniors and I said that we wanted to see Columbia actually divest. It was a rough goal, and we weren’t sure it was actually going to happen, but we wanted to see that happen before we left the university.

Right around graduation, I saw the article come out that Columbia had actually divested their stock! We were surprised it happened, especially that quickly! That moment was so powerful. We realized the activism that we were doing actually had an impact! A few months later, I read that the Department of Justice decided to stop using private prisons. It was amazing to know that organizing on my campus could have had an impact in this larger movement.

I understood then that the work I do does have an impact . A lot of times we don’t get to actually see it. 

However, the means of getting there mattered more to me than anything else. Making sure that the students within our university knew what we were fighting for, and why, was more important to me than getting the university to actually divest.

 

Please tell us more about your AmeriCorps service. Why did you choose to serve? How has service experience changed your worldview?

I joined Playworks without knowing it was an AmeriCorps organization. Because of my experience with Prison Divest in college, I realized I can’t do work if I’m not working with the people who I’m impacting in the long run. I knew I wanted to work in education (or education policy one day) but I can’t do that if I’ve never worked in a school or with children. Playworks was that on-the-ground opportunity to learn about how schools worked before I started teaching. The work that I was already doing just happened to align to perfectly with the goals of AmeriCorps.

I’ve learned that it is so important to integrate yourself into the community that you’re planning on serving! A lot of people who are doing service work in general probably come from privileged backgrounds (maybe well-educated, upper-class, or White). As an outsider, people don’t respect you and won’t listen to you. You also can’t do effective work because you won’t know the needs of the community, especially if you’re not trying to become a part of that community. I have learned different ways of integrating, both formally and informally, whether it’s showing up to every event, so that people know you care, or organizing school events.

It’s important to be able to just play. Play is a productive thing, even though many people don’t see it that way. That time is productive and a great way to stay engaged! On the playground, children learn how to socialize, solve conflicts, and how to be leaders, but kids don’t know that it’s happening. Given the right environment, it will happen naturally!

 

What are some of your professional and personal goals? How will being a Segal Education Fellow help you achieve those goals? What are you looking forward to the most?

My professional goals are murky and I accept that. I know that I want to do some kind of organizing, but if it doesn’t have a larger impact, it’s not doing what it’s supposed to do. However, I don’t want to be in a political office, nor do I want to be behind a desk all day. I think Segal will help me figure out how to merge my interest in education, the justice system, and community organizing into a position that is right for me. I am looking forward to the Segal retreat because there is a session particularly about how to take your broad interests and make the more concrete. I’m also looking forward to learning how to have a successful mentorship!

 

AmeriCorps Alums has launched a Race & Equity initiative, in partnership with the Annie E. Casie Foundation, in order to reduce racial disparities where we work and serve. What does equity and inclusion mean to you? Why are these strategies important in National Service?

I really appreciate that you use “equity” and not “equality.” Equity means everyone gets what they need.

Equity also requires activism, because in the natural state of things, everyone doesn’t get what they need, while those who don’t need often get more. It requires activism, movement, and intentional thinking about what needs to be changed.

It’s important for National Service because a lot of seemingly altruistic privileged people are doing service and sometimes it’s more self-serving for them. It helps the people who are trying to help, more than the communities they are trying to serve. You get that “feel-good” feeling that makes you happy that you did the work, but did you actually make an impact? Was your goal to serve someone or was it just to do something good to say that you did it? That mindset comes from people who don’t come from the community itself. I think this new initiative to reduce racial disparities is so important because you don’t have to work as hard to become a part of the community if you are from the community.

Supporting Corps Member Recruitment & Retention: A Partnership that Gets Results

October 25, 2016

AmeriCorps Alums is making it easier for AmeriCorps programs to recruit and retain Corps members, according to new research.  Over the past year, Serve Wisconsin (the Wisconsin State Commission) partnered with AmeriCorps Alums to intentionally connect their portfolio to AmeriCorps Alums resources – and found benefits to corps members, program staff, programs, and the Wisconsin national service community. This partnership built on the findings from AmeriCorps Alums 2014-2015 program evaluation.

According to Tom Devine, former Executive Director of Serve Wisconsin, “Through the partnership with AmeriCorps Alums, staff at 23 AmeriCorps programs and 700 AmeriCorps members were connected to professional resources and support. AmeriCorps programs’ saw an increase in recruitment, completion, and retention. More than anything, the national service movement grew stronger because we’re connecting members to the national service alumni community.”

csvcywzwiaepu6qAccording to the 2014 – 2015 AmeriCorps Alums program evaluation, a control group of 219 corps members exposed to the “Alums treatment” saw statistically significant outcomes (in comparison to a treatment group separated by geography). The corps members in the treatment group were more likely to*:

  • report an interest in returning to AmeriCorps for another year of service;
  • know how to use their education award;
  • be aware of the resources available to reach their goals;
  • be knowledgeable about who to turn to for career advice or support and how to discuss AmeriCorps in interviews;
  • feel connected to a network of AmeriCorps members serving across the country; and
  • report an interest in pursuing policy issues that were important to them in the future

 

Then, during the 2015-2016 program year, Serve Wisconsin replicated and scaled Alums’ 2014-2015 evaluation. According to Amy Porter, Program Officer with Serve Wisconsin, “This partnership allows our commission the ability to support program recruitment and retention. These are two areas we always want to spend more time on but have difficulty doing so sufficiently with our limited staff capacity. AmeriCorps Alums helps expand our outreach and support to programs in these important areas.”  According to Wisconsin’s internal member survey, Serve Wisconsin found that 1 in 5 currently serving members learned about AmeriCorps through an alum.   The partnership with Alums is a long-term investment in growing these recruitment resources, guided by the belief that connected and supported corps members will become connected and supported recruiters for and champions of AmeriCorps.

 

A key to the partnership’s success, Serve Wisconsin enrolled all 2015 currently serving members into AmeriCorps Alums, so that all currently serving members were introduced to resources, supports, and inspiration from the alumni network. Nationwide, members and alums are not automatically enrolled in AmeriCorps Alums, even if they request enrollment on their exit forms, due to CNCS regulation. Currently, only 10% of alumni are registered with the national alumni association. The partnership between Serve Wisconsin & AmeriCorps Alums bridged the gap between AmeriCorps members and alums, while inspiring continued service, facilitating a community of AmeriCorps supporters and guiding AmeriCorps members into successful careers.  According to Kaira Esgate, Executive Director of America’s Service Commissions, “AmeriCorps Alums has created thoughtful, research-informed, & easy to use resources for states and programs to support AmeriCorps staff and Corps members. By making connections to Alums during recruitment and throughout the corps year, we’re building a stronger AmeriCorps community.”

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For the 2016 – 2017 AmeriCorps year, AmeriCorps Alums is pleased to have partnerships with the following state service commissions, building on the research-based model:  Nevada Volunteers, OneStar (Texas), Serve Wisconsin, and Volunteer Florida. Want to get your AmeriCorps program members connected with AmeriCorps Alums?  There are 3 easy ways.  For additional information and steps to connect and enroll your members, visit: www.americorpsalums.org/statepartnerships

 *Statistically significant at the .05 level

 

 

 

 

 

Segal Leadership Award Spotlight: A City Year Alum’s Story of Community Service

October 19, 2016

bprice For the #1of1million celebration in October, AmeriCorps Alums is recognizing alums with unique stories to share. This week, we are catching-up with one of the recipients of the AmeriCorps Alums Eli Segal Leadership Award, Bria Price. Bria completed two AmeriCorps terms with City Year and is currently an Impact Manager with City Year in Washington, DC. 

Congratulations on winning the AmeriCorps Alums Eli Segal Leadership Award! Out of all your leadership experiences, what’s your proudest moment?

I’d say the proudest moments I have are when I see corps members graduate. Often they think to themselves, “I went into this program to do 1900 hours of service and receive an education award, but I left with meaningful relationships with students that allowed me to grow as a human being.” As an Impact Manager, I now work at a school where I get to see a few students that I worked with two years ago. It makes me proud to see how far they have come, but also that they remember my name and say “I’m glad you’re here too.” Because I was an AmeriCorps member myself, I graduated too,  but as a team leader, watching corps members walk across the stage has brought me so much joy, especially knowing how hard they worked in their year of service and what they went through personally.

 

Please tell us more about your AmeriCorps service. Why did you choose to serve? How has service experience changed  your worldview?

I served one cycle as a City Year AmeriCorps member and last year as a Senior AmeriCorps member. I went into the program initially to do a gap year after my undergraduate college experience. I wanted to go on and get my Masters, but I needed to take a break.

I didn’t know until after I graduated college, but a lot of people that I looked up to in college, whether it was a teaching assistant or women in my sorority, did AmeriCorps service through City Year! When I asked about it, they told me that I would be giving back to a community, so I thought it was right up my alley because I love doing service!

What kept me into service, was not what I was doing, but who I was doing it for: the students. I was not just a volunteer. I was “Ms. Bria” who looked out for students in the classroom and had lunch clubs where students asked me questions about life. That kept me going. It was about the impact I was making. I didn’t care about the service hours I was doing. (I wish I could give more service hours in a day!)

I went into City Year for selfish reasons, but ended up giving it every ounce of energy in order to make an impact in the lives of others – that’s what people call service!

I learned you can always be a part of a community no matter where you come from. The hours and commitment that I was able to give taught me how to be a part of the community – not just working there, but living there. I’m originally from Atlanta, Georgia, but I’m proud and unafraid to say that I now live east of the Anacostia River, in Southeast, DC! I will openly have a dialogue about the stereotypes that come up about people who live east of the Anacostia in DC. You typically see the differences in the buildings or infrastructure, but I personally don’t see the differences in the people. People are people on both sides of the river.

 

What are some of your professional and personal goals? How will being a Segal Fellow help you achieve those goals? What are you looking forward to the most?

For my short-term goal, I’d like to get my Masters in either social or education policy. My long term goal is to build a school where arts, academics, and social events would be the driving force of education. There are many articles about how arts improve educational systems by building the morale, discipline, and pride of the students. It builds all these skills that students need to navigate the world that they live in. Once students have those skills, they will truly have the capacity to do whatever they want.

The arts also teach students that they don’t always have to be the star in the show. There are multiple roles in a production (E.g. the orchestra, ushers, or set designers). The actors will never be seen if there’s no one running the lights. Likewise, there would be nothing to perform on if someone doesn’t have carpentry skills to build the stage.

It [the arts] teaches us that not everyone has to be in the limelight to do something that’s bigger and better than themselves. If we can bottle all of that magic up into the education system, it could be a potential solution to improving test scores. We have to be willing to put forth the effort!

The Alums Segal Award and the Eli J Segal Leadership Program will help me achieve these goals by providing me with a mentor, and I’m especially looking forward to the networking opportunities with the Segal Program. There have been a lot of amazing people and stories that I’ve heard from other Segal alums who have communicated with me so far!

 

AmeriCorps Alums has launched a Race & Equity initiative, in partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, in order to reduce racial disparities where we work and serve. What does equity mean to you? Why are these strategies important in National Service?

It’s important because you shouldn’t label communities. You never know where you’re going to work or serve, or who you’re painting a mural for, or providing resources for…and that’s OK.

When you think about equity and diversity, you’re thinking about other people you can reach out to that may not have the same racial identity, ethnicity, or social status. It allows you to reflect on the person you are and how you navigate in the world. Once you figure that out, you consider how that person works completely opposite from yourself and if you’re able to work together. You never know! That’s extremely important to me. I think AmeriCorps has done a great job with allowing volunteers from different backgrounds to present to and support communities.

Involved for Life: A Story of Achievement and a Lifetime Dedication to Service

October 7, 2016

“The President’s Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to individuals who have completed 4,000 or more hours in their lifetime.” (https://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/the-award)

After receiving the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this year, Janet Hertz spoke to   AmeriCorps Alums about her lifetime dedication to service. Janet served two terms as a NCCC member in 2007 and 2015, but also as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand (2013-2015). We are honored to share her story as part of #1of1million celebration of One Million AmeriCorps members. 

  1. Thank you for serving in AmeriCorps for multiple terms! In a few sentences, can you share more about where you served, with which AmeriCorps programs you served, what you did, and what leadership and career skills you developed because of your service?

My domestic service work with AmeriCorps spans a pair of service terms eight years apart. In 2007, I served with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). I was based in the Western Region in Sacramento, California. My first two spikes were in Louisiana following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as a construction site volunteer manager rebuilding houses into homes. My third spike was serving in New Orleans as a health, information, and technology center instructor in the ninth ward in partnership with Xavier University. My last project with NCCC was in Crown King, Arizona as a wild land firefighter and Emergency Medicine Services (EMS) first responder, as I was on a fire team with NCCC.

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My second AmeriCorps service term commenced in September of 2015 at Youth Villages Inner Harbour Campus in Georgia. During this service term, I was an academic and life skills tutor for high school youth residing at a psychiatric treatment facility. I planned and implemented community events, after school programming, and a service learning project. Through my service learning project, I was able to teach my students about global human rights issues through the beautiful game, soccer. We built a soccer field, painted a mural, and knitted hats (which we sold and donated the money to a nonprofit to hand deliver soccer balls to third world nations).

Through my pair of AmeriCorps service chapters, I developed and expanded my leadership and many career skill sets.

As a Corps member, I learned adaptability, strategic thinking, and moreover that there is no greater prize in life than the reward of helping others.

  1. Congratulations on receiving the President’s Lifetime Volunteer Service Award! The award was started as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by example, inspired others to engage in volunteer service. What does it mean to you to receive this award, did knowing about the award influence your service, and how do you think volunteer recognition like this can inspire others to serve?

hertz2My undergraduate alma mater, Saint Joseph’s College (Rensselaer, IN), has a mantra “involved for life”. There I received their prestigious Edward Panozzo award for dedication and intense commitment to social humanitarian endeavors over my four years. I have continued to serve the world domestically and internationally. Thus, it brings my heart great joy to see that others may be inspired to join the
quest to help others and show them that someone cares through the recognition of my volunteer efforts through this Lifetime Achievement Award.

As a NCCC Corps member, college spring break students were some of the volunteers that I served alongside as their construction site supervisor. One of those volunteers was inspired to serve in AmeriCorps and served with me as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand. I know firsthand that my service work models for others the possibilities of what can and does happen when we invest in the potential of others by giving our greatest gift: time. It simply challenges and inspires others by being a good example of giving to others.

  1. When sworn into AmeriCorps, members make a pledge to a lifetime of service. This commitment to service was reinforced when AmeriCorps Alums conducted a survey of the organization’s membership in 2014 and learned that three in four alums want careers that change the world. What are your plans for your life after AmeriCorps? How do you hope to keep developing as a leader and change-maker who helps build strong communities?

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My commitment of service is not limited to a prescribed amount of months nor hours. It is an embarkment of my lifetime. I am a Returned Peace Corps volunteer, as well (Thailand, Youth in Development 2013-2015). My service and humanitarian spirit post my AmeriCorps service will continue internationally with a second tour of service with the Peace Corps. I plan on being a change-maker and community builder on a global scale. Through capacity building internationally, I can assist with the ability of others to see that at the core people of all nations speak with a tender heart and a smile. Through my AmeriCorps chapters of service, I learned how to develop stronger communities as I have gained valuable leadership skills via unparalleled growth opportunities.

Getting to the Core of the Issue: Making a Career Out of Your Passion

October 6, 2016

Chioke Mose-Telesford is a proud AmeriCorps alumnae of Citizen Schools New York & currently the Director of Community Programs at Grand Circus Detroit. She shares her story of service and leadership as part of #1of1million celebration of One Million AmeriCorps members.

One of my first memories of being civically active was attending a prochioke-speakingtest against the Gulf War. I was in 1st grade and it was a Tuesday. I was of course elated to be out past bedtime. I didn’t really understand what I was marching about or why,
other than that we were voicing an opinion. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized not every kid drove to the state capital to lobby for a higher minimum wage or marched to advocate for equal funding for schools in low-income communities. But these early experiences instilled in me a desire to do work that contributed to the betterment of my community. I set my sights on a service-oriented career and never looked back.

I wasn’t your “typical” AmeriCorps member. I had volunteered in Vietnam for a year and worked in management at an industrial distribution company for three years prior to joining. I saw AmeriCorps as an opportunity to bring my skills at running efficient, high quality operations into the education nonprofit realm. Therefore I was a bit older, but extremely excited to serve.

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Being an AmeriCorps member is hard, plain and simple. Putting aside the financial obstacles, your entire role is to work in challenging situations and make something out of a sub-nonprofit budget. I was a Teaching Fellow at Citizen Schools, a nonprofit that extends the day for low-income middle school students across the country. Before I started, the Brooklyn middle school I worked with had three Citizen Schools site directors in three years. On top of that, the school had huge teacher turnover, a new principal, and a general lack of resources. The teachers who remained were (rightfully so) overstressed and lacked trust.

One of my responsibilities was to observe classes during the day so that I could more effectively help my students complete their homework during our program. I went to the science teacher to set up a weekly schedule for my observation. When I asked what day would work, she said to me, “Why even bother? You’re not going to stick around nor will the rest of the people in your program. I see it every year. Eager Fellows are excited to help the students, but burn out and leave after a year. You all promise these things that never happen.”

It was definitely a slap in the face, but it made me step back and realize that I couldn’t create my own agenda. If I really wanted to make an impact, I needed to see what the school, and the kids I was supporting, needed from me. My year as an AmeriCorps member found me helping out a Spanish teacher each day with a rambunctious 7th grade class and taking groups of students on Saturdays to museums in Manhattan. I helped students navigate the very complex NYC high school process and practice for the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test.

That year taught me that oftentimes service work isn’t about what you feel you need to accomplish – it’s what those you are serving need you to accomplish.

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After your AmeriCorps service, it can be hard to figure out your next move. I believe that all AmeriCorps members want to save the world. That’s why you joined, right? For a long time in college and after, I bounced back and forth on how I wanted to save the world.

I tried to nail down what I was really passionate about in life and it actually came back to my own childhood. So many things I experienced were made possible because others opened up opportunities my family didn’t have the money to provide. Dance. Choir. Pre-college programs. Soccer. Field trips. College. So much of my confidence and the belief that I could do anything, was because of the cheerleaders behind me. My mock trial coaches, who argued amongst themselves about whether I should be a CEO, lawyer, or the president. My middle school gym teacher who let me play tackle football, despite the boys’ protests. The donor of a pre-college program who made me realize I was just as worthy of a Stanford education as my wealthier peers.

Stepping back, I realized the work I want to do in my career has to be about expanding opportunities to individuals who don’t come from privileged backgrounds. Whether it’s diversifying the tech industry in Detroit (my current role) or helping low-income youth get to and through college (my old role), it all fits this passion.

My advice to AmeriCorps alums is to discover what it is that you are truly passionate about.

It might take a few years or multiple roles, but one day you’ll get there. Your path forward, and your impact on the world, will be amazing.

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Chioke Mose-Telesford is the Director of Community Programs at Grand Circus Detroit. Chioke is a passionate education advocate, committed to building a tech pipeline in Detroit by increasing the exposure to opportunities in tech for youth and residents of Detroit. In her role at Grand Circus, she works with schools, foundations and nonprofits to develop programs focused on youth and adult workforce development. Prior to Grand Circus, Chioke worked in operations management and in the education sector in New York and Detroit, focused on academic achievement and college access. She served in AmeriCorps in New York with Citizen Schools. A dedicated alumna, Chioke Mose-Telesford holds a B.A. in African and African American Studies from Stanford University and is President of the Stanford Club of Michigan. You can connect with her on Twitter (@chiokerickya and on LinkedIn).

 

 

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