Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tim Johnson's Story

Hey!! Non-Tuesday surprise post!  Enjoy the conversational stylings of one Tim Johnson!

When you decided to join AmeriCorps, what was the reaction of your family and friends?

Well there was excitement and a lot of questions. They had no idea what AmeriCorps was. I told them that I’d be in a school doing something – I didn’t know how to answer that question, honestly. More so, we were just focusing on the opportunity for me to get out of The South and see something different. 
I saw this as my one opportunity for me to move, you know, especially across the nation. Just an opportunity to see something different, be in a different spot, different location, different mindset.

I never really went outside of the Southeast [before] , so I really didn’t know much and I had a tunnel vision and a very conservative mindset. So it was an opportunity to see what else is out there.

So you’re a man – and for a lot of men, service is the armed forces and that’s your way to get out of wherever you are. And you chose a different kind of service. Why did you do that?

Well, my brother served in the armed forces and he didn’t have the best experience, so that backed me off. The armed forces in Alabama are always in your face. I’ve seen recruiters at my junior high school. So they start young there and they’re presented that option and because that’s the only option that people know about, that’s the option that they take. This opportunity was just another way.

More after the jump!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ben Endre's Story

Hello again!  Tuesday is once again upon us.  Next up: another University of Wisconsin grad, Ben Endres!

Why did you choose to serve?

I chose to serve… well, I heard about AmeriCorps through my sister. She did it after she graduated and I always knew that I wanted to do something more. I had lived a really blessed life. I mean, I didn’t have any problems and money was never an issue, and I figured it was something I should do to give back. I knew that there were other people out there who were far worse off than I was. I think it’s important to give back.

And for me personally, the reason why I chose to serve in education was because I just think that education is so important. For these kids to be successful later on in their lives, they need to have a good education. They need people to look up to who have been successful before… and that are older than them. So that’s why I chose to serve - and serve in elementary schools. I believe that education is the most important thing to the success of our society.

 more after the jump!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lucy Smigiel's Story

Hello All!  The summer is moving past us quite quickly--it seems like just yesterday I was at AmeriCorps graduation.

Here is a new AmeriStory from one of our own--Lucy Smigiel, Univeristy of Wisconsin graduate.  Check it out and think on times gone by!

Why did you choose to join AmeriCorps?

Lucy Smigiel: AmeriCorps is a practical choice for a recent college graduate who doesn’t totally know what they want to do and they want to get experience. Also, some people feel the responsibility to give back to a community even if it isn’t the community they grew up in.

AmeriCorps is a very practical option because it gives you so much hands on experience. I feel like I have lived such a life of privilege, it’s my responsibility to give that back. I just noticed a really great quote this morning that says something like, “service is the rent you pay for living”. I think that’s so true. I think that I should have to pay a higher rent because I have kind of have life handed to me on a silver platter. I think service work is what allows me to give back and to use my education to then give other students a good education.

What would you tell someone who is considering AmeriCorps?

Lucy Smigiel: Do it. I think it’s OK to be selfish in that if you don’t know what you want to do, choose a job that will allow you to learn and grow. If you can’t find a job, you might as well do something that allows you to learn and grow while simultaneously helping another community. It’s kind of a win-win situation on both sides.

More after the jump!