Three volunteers from AmeriCorps visited IDEAS Academy juniors on November 11 to share their experiences. The students learned about what AmeriCorps is, the different options offered by AmeriCorps, and they heard stories from those who had gone through the program.
AmeriCorps is an organization dedicated to service. It’s similar to the Peace Corps, but keeps volunteers closer to home, with options for local, state, and national levels. Volunteers are able to be in the AmeriCorps program for up to four years, and work in disaster service, economic service, education services, environmental services, health services, or other programs. Applicants may select NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) for ages 18-24, FEMA, VISTA or other state and national programs. The representatives who came to IDEAS work with runaway teenagers through AmeriCorps in Manitowoc County.
A common thread in the stories told to the juniors was the desire to opt out of a traditional school setting. The Americorps volunteers highlighted the way that Americorps, which provides a living stipend, helped them find a different place to go after high school and gave them a sense of belonging. Another aspect was the connection with college study. One of the speakers has a bachelor’s degree and will soon be starting her master’s. AmeriCorps provides a range of experiences that help each volunteer learn about self, strengths and interests while providing service to communities.
In addition to helping find a place where they belong, the Americorps representatives also highlighted how Americorps can help in life after being in the program in regard to student loans, job and volunteer experience, and an opportunity for networking.
For more information about AmeriCorps, go to http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps
The AmeriCorps presentation, required for juniors and open to interested seniors, was part of the IDEAS Academy College Readiness Program, striving to help students make informed decisions about their futures.
Photo Credit: Madison O'Brien, Étude Studios Photography Intern