Thick red bomber jacket, timberland boots, and khaki pants- probably the worst uniform for a place like Miami, FL, but each day I still wore it with pride. The best part about this uniform was not the amount of candy that its pockets could store, but the journey it represents. Despite being an unflattering shade of red, this red jacket littered with student’s signatures is the biggest statement piece I will ever own in my closet.
My red jacket, earned through over 1,700 service hours represents the work that AmeriCorps programs like CityYear do each day. CityYear service members work to bridge the gap between teacher and student, providing mentorship for struggling students in efforts to decrease the nation’s dropout rate.
On a self-seeking level, CityYear allowed me the opportunity to move across the country from Portland, OR to Miami, FL with a job lined up for me upon my arrival (talk about job security). Although CityYear didn’t pay stacks, it provided a benefits that have stretched well beyond the year I spent serving alongside the Miami Dade Public School System. Through my devotion and completion of my year of service I opened myself up to a platform of people willing to help me out when it came time to apply for a job or college. I developed meaningful relationships with people who are working together to change the world. As a young person, I was believed in.
I encourage any young person, who may be struggling at their current position in life to think about serving with AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps is hiring with benefits. AmeriCorps is like the little sister to the PeaceCorps- a smaller commitment, but still highly regarded and valuable to our nation. Our home turf benefits from work done by AmeriCorps members, you could be one of them. AmeriCorps is an opportunity for people to serve their community (in literally almost any city in America) while earning a monthly living stipend and college scholarship.
I created this blog to focus on reducing the waste on our planet. Programs like CityYear make sure that students make it to high school graduation and are not wasted due to poverty. CityYear empowers young people. As an AmeriCorps member you become conscious and empathetic. I cannot sum up in words how much my time with AmeriCorps has meant to me, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it.
You can be the next advocate for change. If you are seeking financial aid for college or student debt relief (lets be honest, who isn’t) look into AmeriCorps. If you are looking to travel, look into AmeriCorps. If you are looking to give back, look into AmeriCorps.
AmeriCorps is hiring and they offer benefits. Apply today.