Student loans are a strange beast. They don’t really look, feel, or behave like other loans. They’re placed in the hands of consumers with no proven ability to repay them. They can grow to massive size, despite being unsecured by any sort of collateral. They can’t be shaken loose by delinquency, default, or even bankruptcy.
So how can you tame this beast?
Through our partnership with Bank of America we hosted a webinar presented by Money Management International that addressed the most pressing student loan concerns and helped navigate the sometimes muddy waters of managing and repaying your loans.
Do you feel like you have a good plan to pay down your debt? Do you know all your options for repayment and loan forgiveness? The webinar explores options that can work for you—including public service loan forgiveness, income based repayment plans, loan consolidation, and more. Tips you learn in this webinar will help you make decisions based on your own personal goals.
Whether you have private loans or federal loans, it’s important that you understand your options and do the best you can to stay current with your payments. Once you start to fall behind, your options begin drying up, so try to stay ahead of any potential problems and seek help sooner rather than later.
What you will learn
Know what you owe: Do you know where to find your student loan information including the amounts you owe, interest rates, who is servicing your loans, and what type of loans you have? We’ll show you how and where to locate this information!
Know Your Repayment Options: There are so many options and programs for student loan repayment. How do you know which ones apply to you? How do you choose? How do public service loan forgiveness and teacher loan forgiveness fit in the mix? What about Perkins loans? So many questions! We have answers!
Calculate the Cost: Deferment? Forbearance? What’s the impact? Is it better to pay down your loans aggressively or pay less and put money into savings? What are the trade-offs? It’s enough to give a person a headache! But in this webinar, we’ll give some simple examples that will illustrate the options.
Know how to recover: Are you one of the many student loan borrowers who has gotten behind on payments? Do you know how to turn your situation around and get it back on track? We’ll tell you how!
Make a Plan: Information overload can bring on analysis paralysis. Get unstuck and make a plan to tackle your student loans and tame them!
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!
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.
- FEMA Corps Team Leader – Nationwide
- AmeriCorps NCCC Team Leader – Nationwide
- AmeriCorps NCCC Member – Nationwide
- FEMA Corps Member – Nationwide
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.
- Blueprint Fellowship (K-12 Education) – Oakland, CA, Boston, Salem and Holyoke, MA, East St Louis, IL
- Development Manager – Newton, MA or Bay Area, CA
- Elementary Teacher, Grade 4 – Boston, MA
- Elementary Teacher, Grade 4 – Boston, MA
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.
- Enrollment Coach – Minnesota, Milwaukee, Omaha, Philadelphia & Chicago
- AmeriCorps High School Coach – Minnesota, Milwaukee, Omaha, Philadelphia, Portland & Chicago
- CollegePoint Coach – Minnesota & Portland
- College Coach – Minnesota, Milwaukee, Omaha, Philadelphia, Portland & Chicago
- Community Partnerships AmeriCorps Member – Minnesota, Milwaukee, Omaha, Philadelphia, Portland & Chicago
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!
- Elementary School Teacher – New York, NY
- Middle School Teacher – New York, NY
- High School Teacher – New York, NY
- Associate Teacher – New York, NY
- Operations Associate – New York, NY
- Behavior Support Specialist – New York, NY
Denver Math and Literacy Fellows Our Mission: Close the opportunity gap by providing small group math and literacy instruction for our highest need students
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!
- Site Director (Summer Camp Director) – SF Bay Area, LA, and Chicagoland
- Staff Selection Specialist (seasonal, starts in January) – SF Bay Area (Oakland)
- Customer Service Specialist (seasonal, starts in mid-December) – SF Bay Area (Oakland)
- Other full-time HQ roles (Visual Designer, Outreach Specialist and others) – SF Bay Area (Oakland)
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
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.
- Founding Teacher Fellowship – Baton Rouge or El Paso
- Early Childhood and Elementary Teacher (Prek-5th grade) – Austin, San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley
- Middle School Teacher (6th-8th grade) – Austin, San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley
- High School/ AP Teacher (9th-12th grade) – Austin, San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley
- Co-Teacher (PreK-2nd grade) – Austin, San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley
- Special Education Teacher/Co-Teacher – Austin, San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley
- Campus Leadership: Academic/College Counselor, Assistant Principal of Instruction/Operations – Austin, San Antonio, 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.
- Elementary School Teacher (2017-18) – Austin, Texas
- Bilingual Elementary School Teacher (2017-18) – Austin, Texas
- Bilingual Elementary School Partner Teacher (Both Immedate AND 2017-18 Opportunities) – Austin, Texas
- Middle School Teacher (2017-18) – Austin, Texas
- High School Teacher (2017-18) – Austin, Texas
- Student Information and Compliance Specialist (Immediately Available) – Austin, Texas
- Bilingual High School Registrar (Immediately Available) – Austin, Texas
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:
- Founding 7th Grade Teacher
- RSP (Special Education Teacher)
- Upper Elementary (4th Grade – 6th Grade teachers)
- 5th Grade Teacher – South Los Angeles
- Founding 7th Grade Teacher – South Los Angeles
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.
- Youth Care Worker – 1140 W. Jackson BLVD, Chicago, IL 60607
- Youth Care Worker-Support Staff – 1140 W. Jackson BLVD, Chicago, IL 60607
- Overnight Shift Leader-Part Time – 11600 S. Longwood Dr, Chicago, IL 60643
- Overnight Youth Care Worker-Full Time – 1140 W. Jackson BLVD, Chicago, IL 60607
- Overnight Shift Leader-Full Time – 11600 S. Longwood Dr., Chicago, IL 60643
- Day Coordinator – 1140 W. Jackson BLVD, Chicago, IL 60607
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 (firstname.lastname@example.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.
- Generalist Fellow – Dillon, CO
- Generalist Fellow – Washington, DC
- Oceans Program Fellow – Washington, DC
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:
- Guinea: Secondary Education Science Teacher
- Colombia: Agricultural Economics Volunteer
- Cameroon: Health Extension Volunteer
- Lesotho: Secondary School Math Teacher
- Philippines: Coastal Resource Management Volunteer
- South Africa: Primary School English Teacher
- Panama: Agriculture Extension Volunteer
- Costa Rica: Youth Development Coordinator
- Botswana: Health & HIV/AIDS Capacity Building Specialist: Civil Society
- Colombia: Business Advising Volunteer
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.
- Playworks AmeriCorps Coach – Nation Wide (23 Cities)
- Associate Trainer – Chicago, Boston, New York and Southern California
- Program Manager – Arizona
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.
- Brain Injury Specialist/Direct Support Staff/Behavioral Health Technician – Pittsburgh, PA
- Overnight Brain Injury Specialist/Direct Support Staff/Behavioral Health Technician – Gibsonia, PA
- Brain Injury Specialist/Direct Support Staff/Behavioral Health Technician – Fox Chapel, PA
- Overnight Brain Injury Specialist/Direct Support Staff/Behavioral Health Technician – Fox Chapel, PA
- Overnight Direct Support Staff/Certified Nursing Assistant – Gibsonia, PA
- Overnight Direct Support Staff/Rehab Aide – Pittsburgh, PA
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.
- Community Integration Specialist – Wakefield, Melose, Dedham, or Needham, MA
- Crisis Specialist – Milford, MA
- Case Manager – Wakefield, Woburn, Peabody, Newton, or Walpole, MA
- Residential Counselor – Newton, North Reading, Norwood, Peabody, Reading, Wakefield, Walpole, Waltham, or Woburn, MA
- Early Head Start Home Visitor – Somerville, MA
- Outreach/Therapeutic Mentor – Needham, MA
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!
- Rocky Mountain Prep VISTA – Operations – Denver, Co
- Rocky Mountain Prep VISTA – Fundraising – Denver, Colorado
- Rocky Mountain Prep VISTA – Family Liaison – Denver, Colorado
- Rocky Mountain Prep VISTA – Finance – Denver, Colorado
- Rocky Mountain Prep Teaching Fellowship – Denver, Colorado
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.
- Classroom Teacher (4th-7th Grade) – 2017-18 school year
- Teaching Assistant – immediate, 2017-18 school year
- RSP (Special Education) Teacher – 2017-18 school year
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.
- Indianapolis Teaching Fellows – Indianapolis
- teachNOLA – Greater New Orleans
- Nevada Teacher Corps – Las Vegas and surrounding communities
- Baltimore City Teaching Residency – Baltimore
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: email@example.com.
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.
- Teacher Residency – Dallas/Fort Worth, Baltimore, and DC
- National Recruitment and Selection Coordinator – DC, Baltimore, or Dallas/Fort Worth
- Other open staff positions: http://www.urbanteachers.org/careers
WSU VISTA Fellows Project Open VISTA positions open across Kansas: http://www.communityengagementinstitute.org/center-and-initiatives/impact-center-americorps-vista. View available positions:
- VISTA Volunteer Coordinator with Douglas County Senior Services, Inc. – Lawrence, Kansas
- Fund Development VISTA with HappyBottoms – Kansas City, Kansas
- VISTA Program Development Coordinator with Penn House/ Ballard Community Services – Lawrence, Kansas
- Jewish Family Services Food Pantry and Nutrition VISTA – Greater Kansas City
- Curriculum Coordinator VISTA with Boys and Girls Club; programs K-8th grade – Manhattan, KS
- Fund Development VISTA with Episcopal Social Services and Breakthrough Club – Wichita, KS
- Ombudsman VISTA positions with Long-Term Care or KanCare offices – Topeka and Wichita, Kansas
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.
- Teaching Opportunities – Memphis, TN; Linden, TN
- Family Intervention Specialist – Tennessee, North Carolina, Oregon, Massachusetts, Indiana
- Behavioral Youth Counselor – Memphis, TN; Linden, TN; Nashville, TN; Arlington, MA; Douglasville, GA
- Bachelor Level Opportunities – Oregon, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, New Hampshire
- Master’s Level Opportunities – OR, OK, IN, TN, Massachusetts, GA, Mississippi, NC, Washington D.C., NH
- Crisis Counselors (PRN and Full Time Opportunities) – Cookeville, Knoxville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Columbia, Nashville, TN
- Night Monitors – Linden, Memphis, New Hampshire, Massachusetts
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.
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.”
According 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.”
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
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.
Today’s guest blog comes to us from Lauren Gabbard, an AmeriCorps VISTA currently serving with Kentucky Campus Compact. Lauren graduated from Northern Kentucky University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics. Lauren’s dedication to community service, justice, and diversity motivated her to serve with AmeriCorps, where she is currently working on projects to encourage student civic engagement as Kentucky Campus Compact’s Student Initiatives Coordinator.
With my year of service coming to an end soon, I’m feeling very reflective. When I started serving with Kentucky Campus Compact (KyCC) last fall, I was a recent graduate struggling to find my place in the world. I knew service to my community was important, but I couldn’t see how I could face the enormous effects of poverty, inequality, and injustice and actually make a difference.
I began my year of service with the hope that encouraging students to get involved in their communities would be a good start. Well, it’s been more than that!
This year has given me the amazing opportunity to work on projects that affirm my values and passion for strong, engaged communities. I believe in building healthy, supportive communities where people connect around issues they care about. When citizens connect to use their voices and work together, we can empower each other to impact poverty. With KyCC, I’ve been able to work on projects that encourage students to take on active roles in their communities.
As the Student Initiatives and InnerView Coordinator, I’ve worked with students to build civic engagement, share their stories of service, and work to support their communities. I’ve been able to find my place as a leader, use my passions, develop new skills, meet new people, and travel around Kentucky. AmeriCorps has given me such an amazing year, I’ve already re-enrolled to serve again! Let me walk you through some of the highlights of my year to share what’s made this experience so great.
I’ve been using a digital platform called InnerView to share my story, keep track of my service activities, and connect with others around the issues I’m passionate about. Everything I’ve accomplished during my year of service is captured on my InnerView page. Check it out and send me a connection request!
One of the best things about working with KyCC is that we serve the entire state of Kentucky. We are a member organization of colleges and universities across the state, and I’ve been able to use our network to connect with students, faculty, and staff all over Kentucky. By connecting with students and visiting their campuses to spread the word about KyCC’s programs, I’ve been to places like Lindsey Wilson College, Transylvania University, Centre College, Kentucky State University, Northern Kentucky University, and more! I’ve made partnerships with organizations such as the Bonner Scholars and Alphi Phi Omega to increase student involvement, and was even invited to speak at Lindsey Wilson College’s Bonner Orientation this August.
I’ve also coordinated with another AmeriCorps program, the Kentucky College Coaches, where I presented a training about the ways high school students can use InnerView to highlight their service and connect with opportunities. I was invited to visit Edmonson County High School, where I motivated students to work toward accomplishing the UN Global Goals by serving their local communities. Connecting with students all over Kentucky has been a rewarding and validating experience, and I’m excited to see a commitment to service echoed across my home state.
One of my biggest projects with KyCC has been to create a Student Advisory Board. I took advantage of the Volunteer Management VISTA Blend course where I learned about creating volunteer roles, recruitment, screening, matching, orientation, and training. The course was a huge help; it gave me the skills I needed to recruit and manage our Student Advisory Board. I was even able to recruit 12 students to serve with us! I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish this year as I work with these talented and dedicated students.
Serving with KyCC has also opened up opportunities to participate in large-scale events, such as the Shaping our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Innovation Summit, where I was able to talk with innovators across Appalachia working to strengthen the region and make Kentucky a more prosperous state.
I also traveled to Detroit to attend the Points of Light Conference on Volunteering and Service, where I encouraged attendees to dedicate 75 hours of service in honor of Muhammad Ali’s 75th birthday. I had the opportunity to network and speak with amazing people from all over the world, including Lonnie Ali, wife of the late Muhammad Ali, and CNCS CEO, Wendy Spencer. This summer I traveled to Charleston to attend the Civic Life Institute, led by the West Virginia Center for Civic Life. The two-day Institute prepared me to encourage community conversations and connect citizens to build the civic infrastructure of Kentucky’s communities. These opportunities have opened up so many doors, strengthened KyCC’s network, and contributed to my personal growth in ways that I’ll always be thankful for.
During this year of service, I’ve learned so much about myself, my community, my state, and the meaning of service. I begun as a person unsure of my place in the world, but I have emerged as a hard-working, confident, and passionate person.
I see myself as a leader, a connector, and an activist; and I know now that I have the conviction and support I need to succeed. AmeriCorps has given me this conviction and support, as well as the tools, skills, and professional development to set me on a path of growth.
I feel sound in my commitment to strong communities and my dedication to local and global service, and I’m excited to live life and see where it takes me!
Thank you for joining me on this reflection. Don’t forget to send me a connection request on InnerView!
“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.
- 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.
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.
- 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?
My 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.
- 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?
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.