My name is Heather Correia, and a few years ago, I was a 19 year old girl in a whirlwind of stress, violence and insecurity. My mother was bankrupt; I completed exactly half of college and dropped out to get some hands-on experience, even though I knew that finding a career was not going to be easy.
Businesses were honest with me – they needed more staff, but with the current state of the economy, they could not hire. I met so many business owners that I even connected them with each other. I was at the last café on the block and though they were not hiring, they referred me to Goodwill’s Youth Services program. Jaime, an employment counselor with Goodwill, was able to work with the business to hire me and help make the business thrive when it needed it the most.
Jaime kept my interests in mind and connected me with a Farm in Standish, Maine, where I planted, harvested and even took organic vegetables home for dinner! As it got colder, my work experience ended, so Jaime and I developed my resume that focused on work and volunteer experience. I had some job offers within a few months and then Jaime called. There was an open position for a Goodwill AmeriCorps position that worked on empowering youth in Maine.
The program manager explained that Community Resource Corps (CRC), Goodwill’s AmeriCorps program, connects local Maine nonprofits with AmeriCorps volunteers to increase volunteer capacity and impact in the community. AmeriCorps meets needs without money, for the real drive is in our concern for one another.
I am now an AmeriCorps Youth Advocate and design workshops that build career readiness and transferrable skills. I have organized and been a part of many projects and collaborations to bring people together and pool resources to make a positive impact. I have been awarded the Governor’s Award for National Service, where my family, friends, and Jaime were there to support me. Thank you