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AmeriCorps Alums NCVS Pre Conference Wrap Up

June 18, 2012

What a great way to kick off the 2012 National Service on Volunteering and Service! On Sunday June 17,2012, over 50 AmeriCorps Alums convened for our first ever NCVS Pre Conference event. In attendance included members from all parts of the country, including our awesome Chapter leaders and members, Eli Segal Entrepreneurship Award recipient Anita Yip, Notre Dame Mission volunteers,  and the fun guys from American Volunteers. With the help of the Chicago Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums, we hosted a session consisting of insightful conversations, inspirational stories of service, “Aha!” moments, and of course, fun!

Ben Duda kicked off the event with a welcome to our attendees. Remembering his story of service, he shared that “I’ve got AmeriCorps service in my blood,” and that’s what drives his commitment as the Executive Director of AmeriCorps Alums.

Following Ben’s welcome, Ken Tran and Greg Heinrich led an ice breaker to help the group get to know one another and their AmeriCorps service. Attendees stood up to statements that applied to them, ie. “I served with AmeriCorps NCCC; I am a proud AmeriCorps Alums.” Follow up questions after each statement helped us get a good sense of what Alums did in their service and how they have continued their spirit of service.

Next on the schedule, Alums re-gathered into nametag “sticker” groups where they shared where they served and what were the defining moments when they realized their commitment to service. Lots of great stories shared from the Alums in the room on how they got involved in service. Following, Alums spread out across the room to discuss their “Mission and Passion” areas in service. But before we dived into our conversations, we had a visit from Points of Light CEO Michelle Nunn, who welcomed attendees to NCVS and shared how she felt Alums represented the service leadership model that POL sees and hopes to inspire in future generations of volunteers.

“There’s every reason to hope and believe that you all (Alums) will be the ones getting elected into office, being civic social entrepreneurs, joining non profit organizations, and reimagining new ways of making change, and our investment in you is in the hopes that the Turning Point that you had in AmeriCorps does become a transformative turning point in to communities, for the nation and for the world.”

We are glad to have Michelle Nunn stop by our sessions and regardless of if she opens a Philanthro-Ice Cream Parlor or supports the Philanthropub, we value her leadership and support for our alumni.

The Mission & Passion discussions brought about indepth conversations into specific service areas, such as Disaster & Recovery, Education, and Volunteer recruitment. Members debriefed their “Aha!” moments and our AmeriCorps Alums Boston Chapter leader Hilary Sullivan shared a great summary of the section:

“Learning about other Alums & their dedication to specific service areas is very powerful.”

After our Pre Conference wrapped up at McCormick West, we moved the service festivities to the Weather Mark Tavern to convene for a reception hosted by our friends with at the Peace Corps. We had food, libations, and insightful stories shared on domestic and international service. Members who served in both Peace Corps and AmeriCorps plotted out next action steps on best ways to continue both of our commitments to service through partnering in our local cities for Days of Service and creating a new culture of a Lifetime of Service. We look forward to the fruition of those conversations and our future partnering in service!

Big thanks to the Chicago Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums who helped in the planning and thought processing of the Pre Conference. Thanks to Notre Dame Mission Volunteers and we look forward to connecting your AmeriCorps members to our national networks. Thanks to Ally Snell and the Peace Corps for hosting our reception, helping to connect our Alums and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers for future service commitments. And of course, thanks to all of our Alums in attendance for continuing to serve in their life after AmeriCorps!

See the photos of our PreConference event here and keep up with our NCVS conversations by following us on twitter and #ACAlumsNCVS.

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