My story of volunteerism starts long before my Goodwill AmeriCorps service. My first volunteer experience was in 1990, when I volunteered with my family to box up bags of rice for my local food pantry. It was this experience that instilled in me a spirit of service and caring for my neighbors.
As I grew up, I continued to volunteer: I read to second graders and tutored students in lower grades. My volunteerism shifted to mad scientist demonstrations for kids and when I went to college, I focused on leadership development activities. That is when I found AmeriCorps.
Working in a science lab had bored me to tears and furthering my education was too expensive. Looking for a change in occupation, I stumbled upon a position for AmeriCorps Education Center Coordinator through Goodwill. Knowing a bit about AmeriCorps from my mother’s VISTA term, I jumped on the opportunity to gain experience in the field of education (and money to pay for college).
Two AmeriCorps terms later, I earned the Governor’s National Service Volunteer Award. My experience as a Goodwill AmeriCorps member at Portland Housing Authority allowed me to develop my leadership skills and develop partnerships with community organizations. The following fall, my mentor and site-supervisor retired from the Portland Housing Authority and I was offered his position. I worked with six AmeriCorps volunteers to develop study centers. Determined to succeed for the sake of the students with whom we worked, I challenged my members to set goals, write grants and take the study centers to a new level.
I am now the supervisor of six awesome AmeriCorps members. Still determined to keep the centers high functioning, I am working with my members, partner organizations and volunteers to maintain as much of our programming as possible.
Our programs wouldn’t be successes without our amazing volunteers. Learn more about our study centers.