Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The AmeriCorps Member: A True Life Story Series

Yesterday I went with our Kern Chapter Volunteer Coordinator Amy Mayer to speak at CSUB for first year students in the College Assistance Migrant Program. Amy was presenting information on volunteer opportunities, and I figured I would tag along, seeing as how I would never turn down an opportunity to interact with potential volunteers in our community. At the end of her presentation, the professor of the class asked if we could each share our college experiences, and how we ended up with the American Red Cross. 

I spoke of my journey through college, and explained how I felt so anxious about my future upon graduation. I also took this golden opportunity to share how I ended up where I am today, an AmeriCorps NPRC member. None of these students had heard of AmeriCorps until yesterday. I talked about a realization I had before I applied for the AmeriCorps program, explaining to them how I felt somewhat selfish. Throughout college, I was only worried about myself. I was focused on my grades, on what my next step was, on what my struggles and strengths were. Now don’t get me wrong, we have to worry about these things to get through college with flying colors, but I felt a need to give back. This need to give back played perfectly with the fact that I was unsure of what my next step in life was going to be. That’s when I discovered AmeriCorps. It was perfect! Not only would I be able to gain valuable experience in a professional work environment, learn how a large non-profit organization works, and meet and work with so many great people, I would also be taking 11 months out of my life to give back and help others who are in need. I know there are many college students out there who feel the same way I felt, and I took it upon myself to advertise the AmeriCorps program and how rewarding it is. In my opinion, everyone should join. 

You see folks, this is what we do. We honor the “A”. 

Samantha Minks
AmeriCorps NPRC 2013-2014
Preparedness Coordinator
American Red Cross - Kern Chapter

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