AmeriCorps: Empowering people and strengthening communities

They’re a familiar sight to many in Flint, Michigan. In their signature shirts and hoodies, AmeriCorps members are out in full force — tutoring school children, boarding up vacant properties, running summer camps and neighborhood clean-ups. Wherever there’s a need, AmeriCorps members are there to lend a hand.

Today, more than 150 AmeriCorps members of all ages are serving in Flint under the direction of local nonprofit groups, which are receiving Mott Foundation support to offset the required match dollars needed to host a member. Together, they have amassed an impressive number of accomplishments during the past year that include:

  • Tutoring 426 Flint elementary school students through the Reading Corps;
  • boarding up and securing 228 vacant properties;
  • operating a summer STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) Camp for 80 elementary school students;
  • assisting 889 individuals with independent living services through the Senior Corps RSVP program;
  • removing 11,000 pounds of overgrowth and unwanted vegetation in local neighborhoods;
  • coaching and training 62 individuals in need of financial literacy skills; and
  • mentoring and working with 1,115 students in Flint Community Schools through the district’s community education initiative.

There’s no question AmeriCorps is good for a community, but according to several AmeriCorps alumni in Flint, it’s also an amazing experience that has been good for them, as well.

And they have something to say about their service experience and the impact it has had on their lives. Over the coming weeks, we’ll profile four AmeriCorps members who are united by a strong desire to serve their communities. They say AmeriCorps helped them achieve that goal and, along the way, sharpened their skills, increased their confidence and strengthened their sense of purpose. Below are our first two stories. Stay tuned as we add more stories throughout the month of March.

How AmeriCorps helped Jeff Giddings chart a career in the nonprofit sector

AmeriCorps challenged Renee Harvey to ‘stand up and stand out’

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