Chicago Cares AmeriCorps Role: Days of Service Specialist AmeriCorps*VISTA Member

In honor of AmeriCorps week, Chicago Cares staff members sat down with each of our 5 AmeriCorps members to find out a little more about them and their service year. Here is what Elliott Dionisio had to say about his experience so far this year.

How did you hear about AmeriCorps and what made you decide to do a service year?
I always had a history of community service. When I got laid off from my first job after college I decided to look into AmeriCorps for my next adventure. The NCCC program appealed to me because I’d get to travel, be a part of a team and it would provide me with some good experience before I go back to school. I then wanted to continue with another year of community service and liked the position offered at Chicago Cares because it was a stable position at one organization and would provide me with a chance to learn lots of new things.
Have you done any other AmeriCorps programs?
Yes. I did NCCC based in Sacramento, CA, October 2008-July 2009.
What drew you to Chicago Cares specifically?
I felt the organization was very elegantly structured. It seemed to have a structure that was strikingly simplistic on the outside and very easy for volunteers to get involved in. I wanted to be a part of something that sustained itself so well.

Tell us about your favorite part of AmeriCorps so far.
I like having the chance to communicate with people. I like getting in touch with team captains and building relationships with them. I like being a resource for people and showing people the ropes and helping them through our systems. I love that I get to spread the word about Chicago Cares and our events and get people engaged.
What are you most excited about working on before your service year ends?
Once Serve-a-thon wraps up, I’m excited to sit down and write out everything I learned so that anyone coming into my position has a great base of information to start from. The position is a lot of learning along the way but the more resources that can be provided at the start, the better. I value taking the time to make sure the next person is prepared and continuing the legacy of the position for Chicago Cares.
What skills have you learned in your year that you’ll take with you to your next job?
I have learned a lot about professional corporate relations. I’ve also learned a lot about messaging things in an effective way by framing things correctly and choosing the right words for the right audience.
What are you plans for after AmeriCorps?
I plan to go to law school!