This week (March 9th-March 13th) we celebrate AmeriCorps Week, a “celebration of all things AmeriCorps – from the programs and organizations that make this national service initiative possible in thousands of locations, to the members who have pledged to ‘Get Things Done’ since the program’s inception in 1994.”
At USES, we work with AmeriCorps VISTA members who commit a year of service to supporting our mission of disrupting the cycle of poverty for children and their families. This year, we are proud to host Marielle Sheck as our Family Mobility Coordinator and Niamh O’Donoghue as our Community Engagement Coordinator. In honor of this week, we sat down with them to learn more about the work they do!
What have you learned about yourself and others from being an AmeriCorps VISTA?
Working at USES has made me more cognizant of my own privilege, and my overall lack of exposure to the challenges many of our participants face each day. Seeing first-hand how resiliently they respond to adversity has allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of how poverty impacts communities, and has inspired me to inform others about the importance of advocacy and non-profit work.
Before becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA, I had a limited scope of what I could do with my career. My career goals had changed and I was at a loss for what was next for me. Coming to USES showed me what I was capable of and what my experiences had prepared me for. A month into my service, I have learned what opportunities are available to me and I have become more enthusiastic for my future.
What is your favorite aspect about serving at USES?
What I enjoy about serving at USES is the community felt throughout the entire organization. When I first started at USES, I heard parents as well as staff members talking about the community USES had given them, and now 8 months into my service year, I have found myself integrated into that community. From getting to know and work with youth participants and their parents to becoming friends with staff members across departments, I have grown to appreciate the warmth, power, and impact of USES’s community.
My favorite part about serving at USES is the community of staff and teachers that work together to achieve our mission.