Zach Maurin was a restless teenager, hungry to do something different and to put his energy behind a purpose. He knew college was important, but he also knew it had to wait. He found a position with AmeriCorps in Boston, tutoring in an after-school program with far more children who needed academic support than tutors to provide it.
One of his students was Henry, who was trying to graduate from eighth grade. For a year, Zach worked with Henry three times a week, helping to transform his C and D grades into As and Bs. Zach provided homework help, test prep, and whatever else was needed, and Henry succeeded in moving on to high school.
However, Zach was left with a combination of satisfaction and frustration – satisfaction for Henry, but frustration because many students do not have access to the support they need to succeed, support that could be provided by volunteers.
Zach’s experience led him to co-found ServeNext – an organization dedicated to creating powerful grassroots advocacy nationwide that pushes leaders to make service and volunteerism a priority. ServeNext selects, trains, and supports local leaders around the country to mobilize permanent grassroots networks of service supporters and stakeholders. Network members include recipients of service, AmeriCorps alumni, program staff, educators who use service-learning, Senior Corps participants and many others passionate about service.