This year marks a momentous occasion as we proudly celebrate the 30th anniversary of AmeriCorps! Service year alums are the reason we do what we do! We appreciate their dedication to service and the lasting impact on our communities. Throughout these 30 years, alums have served and tackled educational disparities, supported disaster relief efforts, and empowered underserved populations. Their service has transformed challenges into opportunities and improved lives!
Take a look below and help us celebrate this year-long anniversary by reading these amazing service year stories that alums across the country have shared.
Meet Teresa Taylor-Williams
After facing challenging times, including grieving the loss of her husband and losing her job due to workforce reduction, Teresa wanted a fresh start, so she decided to do a service year.
Teresa joined AmeriCorps in 2017 as a K-3 Literacy Interventionist with Michigan Reading Corps, and the experience for her was rewarding. She worked with students at a rural elementary school to help them overcome reading difficulties and improve their literacy. She even earned extra hours at an urban after-school program where she started the "Mrs. Williams Reading Club."
In 2019, Teresa decided to serve again with the Urban Safety Corps, where her team helped fight blight in the inner city and assisted neighborhood associations with community events.
"I can't say enough about how working with AmeriCorps helped me to rebuild myself. I learned that I still had valuable, transferrable skills. I met some great folks and kept my family afloat. I count myself blessed to have had experience in AmeriCorps.
Today, I am still rebuilding. My children are grown, and I moved to Kansas. I'm finishing my second master's degree and studying mental health. I work at a community mental health agency for the persistently mentally ill on weekends. During the week, I am a Social Work intern at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. My goal is to be a therapist and to help those who have weathered life's storms as I have.
I'm honored to be an AmeriCorps alum, and I encourage anyone and everyone to get this experience. There are vast opportunities, and the satisfaction of serving your community is priceless." -Teresa Taylor-Williams.
Meet Dr. John Scott
Dr. John Scott was nervous about quitting his job as a flight attendant to join AmeriCorps. But he says it ignited his passion about bringing people together to dismantle systems of oppression and build more robust systems of equity. That passion has guided his career as a transformative leader, instructor and coach for the past 25 years.
It’s apparent in everything he does, from teaching executive directors and staff at non-profits how to view their work through a racial equity and anti-oppression lens to making public spaces safe and welcoming.
“Something I continue to love about this work is the ability for me to use my professional and lived experiences to support communities I care deeply about,” Scott said. This work of transformation, coaching, community-centered pedagogies, all keep making me a better human.” -Dr. John Scott
Meet Dade Akindude
Dade served as Service-Learning Coordinator with Battle Creek Michigan in 2010. She worked with K-12 educators in the public school systems to integrate academic service learning to curriculums.
"After one year away from my home in NYC, I learned so much about what it means to give of your time, talent & treasure to strangers who soon became family. After my service year, I became a teacher who was passionate about service learning. I just couldn't shake it. Now, I have started Love Well Spent, a nonprofit dedicated to education through service learning. So glad to be apart of the legacy of AmeriCorps." -Dade Akindude
Meet Megan Kirk
Megan is a service year alum who served as a College Advisor with the College Advising Corps in St. Louis, Missouri. She helped first-generation, low-income, underrepresented high school students launch the next chapter in their lives, helping propel over 250 students toward college, universities, and other opportunities nationwide.
"Not only did I get to help these young people in St. Louis City Schools, but I also got to expand my skills. In particular, I am using the data analytics skill set I picked up to help improve the State of Oregon's Healthcare system three years after my term of service-- a position I enjoy because the AmeriCorps Segal Award helped finance my Master's in International Affairs.
AmeriCorps changed my trajectory, and in turn, I changed the trajectory of everyone I crossed paths with: students, their families, and younger siblings, kids working drive-throughs, people in the park, people in Facebook groups who needed advice, and everyone I talked to about pursuing their dreams while using resources around them. That single job interview was the flap of a butterfly's wings four years ago, and I can still see the effects." -Megan Kirk
Meet Sandy Christian
Sandy had never had the opportunity to do a service year, but when she moved halfway across the country to be closer to her family, an opportunity opened for her to serve! She signed up as a recruiter with True North AmeriCorps and has more recently become a tutor at her local neighborhood school.
"Because of AmeriCorps, I look forward to getting going in the morning and enjoying the photography class I am taking with my Segal Education award. I still can swim aerobics twice a week. I continue to find meaning while serving. Kindergarteners are so cute, and will become amazing readers to boot!" -Sandy Christian