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From AmeriCorps to SIT and the World

March 23, 2017

Today’s sponsored post is written by Shaunbay Ltifi on behalf of School of International Training (SIT). Shaunbay served 3 years with AmeriCorps State & National at Alternatives, Inc. in Hampton, Virginia. SIT Graduate Institute offers master’s degree programs in TESOL, Sustainable Development, International Education, Peacebuilding, and Intercultural Service Leadership and Management. AmeriCorps alumni who have completed their service and are accepted into one of SIT’s master’s degree programs are eligible for a competitively awarded $5,000 scholarship.
Learn more at graduate.sit.edu.

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Shaunbay Ltifi

I joined AmeriCorps in 2010 as a sophomore at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. I was a full-time student and volunteered during my off-time as a life skills and youth development facilitator for middle and high schoolers with Alternatives, Inc. I taught subjects like drug resistance, self-assertion, physical health, and peer influence.

Originally, I planned to spend one year with AmeriCorps but ended up renewing my contract for a total of three years because I loved volunteering – and still do! Toward the end of my last service year, someone suggested that I continue my education through Peace Corps in combination with the master’s program offered at SIT Graduate Institute.

SIT was founded in 1964 as a training center for Peace Corps volunteers. The institution has grown considerably since then and now offers master’s degrees in international education, peacebuilding, TESOL, sustainable development, and intercultural management. SIT has also retained its close connections to the Peace Corps and continues to offer attractive scholarships for returning Peace Corps volunteers and AmeriCorps alumni.

 

AmeriCorps alums who are accepted into an SIT master’s degree program after completing at least one year of service get great incentives like a $5,000 scholarship, Segal Education Award matching and a 25% tuition scholarship for City Year alumni or staff. What’s more, current SIT students can complete AmeriCorps service for their SIT practicum, as long as their service relates to their degree area.

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As it turns out, I didn’t go into the Peace Corps. Instead, I spent a year abroad in Ireland and Tunisia. The combination of AmeriCorps and SIT opened my eyes to the beauty of fully offering oneself to the greater good. Both programs helped me to get closer to where I want to be in life by enabling me to see youths’ worldview and to broaden my own.

 

At SIT, I joined the Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation concentration in hopes of co-piloting my own youth program. I’ve always loved kids and I thought it was amazing that I got to train in classes and participate in the youth programs run by World Learning, SIT’s partner nonprofit organization, doing a lot of the same things that I had done in AmeriCorps. Now, after completing my degree at SIT, I’m working at a public charter school in Washington, DC, using the experience that I learned from both opportunities to serve fifth- and six-grade students.

 

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For anyone considering SIT after serving in AmeriCorps, I would wholeheartedly recommended it. A friend I met at SIT there says, “History speaks here.” Every conversation I had with colleagues reminded me that each person has her or his own unique story to tell. The curriculum, course set-up, and practicum phase all seemed designed to help me dig deep into each story so that I could discover my own.

 

SIT and AmeriCorps both helped me to grow into the person that I am today – someone with a broad worldview. Serving in AmeriCorps was my catalyst for attending SIT, and SIT has been my best career decision so far.

 

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AmeriCorps alumni who have completed their service and are accepted into one of SIT’s master’s degree programs are eligible for a competitively awarded $5,000 scholarship. SIT offers master’s degree programs in both online and on-campus formats. Both full-time students just entering the field and working professionals can find a program ideally suited to their career goals.

Applications being accepted for Summer and Fall 2017.  Learn more at graduate.sit.edu.

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