Chicago Cares AmeriCorps Role: Youth in Service HandsOn AmeriCorps Member

How did you hear about AmeriCorps and what made you decide to do a service year?
I heard about AmeriCorps through City Year. I was interested in doing City Year in Chicago because I heard about their service work. Exploring service-oriented options, I thought Chicago Cares would be more challenging, and I would be able to build more skills and use the skills I already have. I just graduated last year and was unsure of what I wanted to do, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to get some experience in the non profit industry, while at the same time giving back to the community I was brought up in. Honestly, I didn’t actually know this was an AmeriCorps position when I applied. I found out when I interviewed.
Have you done any other AmeriCorps programs?
No, this is my first AmeriCorps position.
What drew you to Chicago Cares specifically?
Being able to work with youth and to have the opportunity to enhance their academic and social skills through service.
Tell us about your favorite part of AmeriCorps so far.
I think it’s being on site and working at the projects. My favorite thing is developing relationships with community partners and getting to know them, not just as site representatives but as people. Also, becoming familiar with areas of the city I might never have ventured into before has changed my perspective on a lot of issues and areas in the city.
What are you most excited about working on before your service year ends?
Summer of Service. We’ll be working with several high schools to teach students about what Youth in Service does, focusing on different issue areas, and putting what they’ve learned into action with different service projects. We’re taking more of a hands-on role with the students.
What skills have you learned in your year that you’ll take with you to your next job?
Organizational skills and being able to pay greater attention to detail. I was a big picture person before, and although it’s good to see things that way, it’s definitely helped that I can now take into account everything that will go into a project.