In celebration of AmeriCorps Week, Volunteer Florida is turning the spotlight on LeaderCorps, a program designed to increase awareness of the impact of AmeriCorps through community dialogue and civic engagement.
Volunteer Florida’s current LeaderCorps cohort is comprised of about 20 active AmeriCorps members who are responsible for participating in leadership training, executing local service projects and serving as ambassadors for Florida’s AmeriCorps programs. The group is led by two co-chairs – they model expectations and act as mentors for their fellow LeaderCorps members.
Tia Crawford is a one of the co-chairs and an AmeriCorps member with Palm Beach County Literacy Coalition. Here’s what she had to say about her experience:
Why did you join AmeriCorps?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been involved with nonprofit organizations that have helped shape my servant heart. I joined AmeriCorps because I wanted to do something greater than myself – I wanted to impact lives and give people hope. Plus, after graduating college, I still had no clue what I wanted to do. I thought AmeriCorps would give me an opportunity to continue serving, while guiding me to the right career path.
What do you do as an AmeriCorps member with the Palm Beach County Literacy Coalition?
I serve at the Boynton Beach City Library working as the Youth Services After-School Homework Helper with pre-K-6 grade students. I help them with subjects like reading, writing, science and math and serve as a mentor, offering them guidance as necessary. I am also in charge of the other AmeriCorps tutors, and I’m responsible for scheduling their time.
Why do you enjoy serving with an education-based program?
I enjoy working with an education-based program because I get to see struggling learners grow into efficient learners. It’s very satisfying to determine their needs and find the best way to teach them, which also allows me to be creative in my lesson planning.
How has service impacted your life?
Service has shown me the importance of the people around me. The love I receive from my students and the support from staff has been encouraging and energizing. Through service, I have also had an opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. Now, I am more confident and bold.
Is there anything else you want to add?
AmeriCorps is a great right-out-of-college experience. I felt so lost in college – the place where everyone says you find yourself. I found myself once I joined AmeriCorps, and I will continue to get things done even after my year of service is over.