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Megan Hill: How AmeriCorps sent me on my way

March 16, 2010

AmeriCorps didn’t change my life.

Several of my fellow corps members in NCCC’s XIV class in Sacramento left with a totally new direction in life. Their service year made them realize a new path or career they’d never considered until AmeriCorps. It didn’t really work that way for me.

I didn’t have any life-changing revelations during NCCC or in the following year, when I served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at America SCORES Seattle, but I do believe those two years helped get me where I am today.

I was interested in a career in the non-profit sector before I joined AmeriCorps—that interest is what motivated me to apply to the program before my college graduation. What both terms of service did help me do was build the experience I needed to launch that career. I now run a business as a professional writer and non-profit consultant, helping organizations with grant proposals and social media from my living room.

Blame NCCC for my antsy work days. In NCCC, each day was different, and I came to value variety. Now, I make sure I keep a wide selection of projects going at any one time.

I know my parents had reservations about whether NCCC would be a good use of my time. Ten months is a lot of time to spend gutting homes and building trails for someone who’s not planning a career as a construction worker.

But NCCC gave me one hell of an experience on the front lines of some of this country’s toughest issues—poverty, natural disasters, struggling public schools—and added cute little gems to my resume like “leadership and team work experience” and “flexibility.” Stuff every potential employer loves to read with a unique experience as the foundation. And now, as I sit in my apartment, I notice things like the poorly cut scarf joint on the baseboards in my breakfast room. So that’s useful.

VISTA was a little more…presentable. At the SCORES office, I traded my steel toe boots for a desk in an office. The non-profit is small, so I really got my hands dirty—just not in the same way as with NCCC. There, I piloted the Facebook and blog pages and learned to write content for the website. I also helped write grants, and now I use each of these experiences in my business.

So maybe AmeriCorps did change my life. Nothing drastic or earth-shattering, but without those two years I would not be where I am right now: saving the world without having to change out of my pajamas.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 16, 2010 8:54 am

    Welcome to the blog Megan!

  2. March 18, 2010 11:46 am

    Hooray Megan!

  3. April 3, 2010 7:42 pm

    Thank you so much for this. The events in Gaza are so depressing that one often forgets that there are good things happening in the region and around the world.

  4. February 11, 2011 6:49 pm

    Great post Megan! Another great reason why AmeriCorp needs to stay!

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  1. Service is Power · How AmeriCorps sent me on my way

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