You are here
My AmeriCorps Service Established My Career
Today’s guest post is written by Sara Haas, whose AmeriCorps service as a Promise Fellow from 2003-2004 launched her career in the nonprofit world where she continues to work in roles that support Americorps programs. Sara is currently the Senior Manager for the AmeriCorps VISTA Programs at HandsOn Network.
“After spending two and half years post college in positions scheduling television commercials, I decided there simply must be more out there. I wasn’t sure what direction I should head, but had a friend who served as a VISTA, so I decided to check out AmeriCorps. The AmeriCorps Freeze of ’03 was just lifting, so a few projects were recruiting in Denver, and I began to explore options. I was lucky to find that Catholic Charities was recruiting for an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow to further develop their Child Care Volunteer Program and to start a new service learning initiative with their school-age children. I jumped at the chance and was selected! The combination of capacity building and direct service was a perfect fit, and I got to serve both with a state-wide Promise Fellow Team, and with a local AmeriCorps team placed at Catholic Charities.
My year of service was one of significant challenge, success and growth; I was pushed well out of my safety zone of sitting behind a computer, and met people from many different backgrounds with diverse life experiences. I experienced no-show volunteers, learned that you must call 811 BEFORE you dig, and tried projects with the kids that simply didn’t work; but, more importantly I engaged volunteers who would provide friendship and stability to children who desperately needed it, and introduced volunteering to children who before taking over their child care center recycling didn’t even know what it meant to volunteer. I left behind a sustainable program with engaged volunteers to support the child care centers, and embarked on a career in the non-profit sector.
My year of service was the first time someone gave me responsibility to develop something new myself, which gave me great confidence and a desire to do more.
Following my year of service, I knew I wanted to continue to be a part of the nonprofit and AmeriCorps world. I have continued to work in roles supporting AmeriCorps programs through program management positions at OneStar Foundation (Texas State Commission), New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, Habitat for Humanity International and now HandsOn Network. I am excited to be a part of helping others to join AmeriCorps and provide valuable service to their communities.
Without my year of service, I simply wouldn’t be here today. I encourage everyone to find an AmeriCorps opportunity that’s a fit for you!”
Click here to discover AmeriCorps opportunities in locations that interest you.