AmeriCorps State and National members Anastasia Lobo, Danielle Hultquist and Noelle Pullin serve with the Yavapai College Justice Institute. The three jumped at a chance to combine experiential service learning with their career goals of entering public service professions. They have taken advantage of every professional development opportunity, especially when it came to a chance to travel to the Nation’s capitol.
In December, Lobo, Hultquist and Pullin were invited to take the same Holocaust training classes that police recruits were taking while attending the Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy (NARTA) as part of a program administered through What You Do Matters: Justice Institute. Their reactions to what they thought they knew before the training classes and afterwards are revealing.
“While the holocaust is often referenced for the human rights violations against the Jews in concentration camps like Auschwitz, one seldom brings to light how individuals abandoned the found principles of their occupations to execute and be a party to one of the world’s largest exterminating operations,” said Lobo. “This course, in tandem with visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will prove to be an extremely educational and spiritual experience as it will force us to ponder the past, observe the present for patterns, and prevent the occurrence of such a situation in the future.”
“I was able to learn some of what I knew already, but also learned new information that I never even thought to be possible. I was also able to learn from the photographs that every detail is important and must be shown to demonstrate the awful events of the Holocaust,” Hultquist said. “I hope that while visiting both the Holocaust and the Black History museums, I will put my knowledge to the test and continue to grow on it, and eventually share my experience with others who are willing to listen about the tragedies both groups had to endure. After all, education is the best tool there is to teach others about those events and to prevent them from repeating them.”
“The opportunity to attend the lessons from the holocaust was enlightening. I hadn’t previously given much thought to the way Nazi Germany rose to power and got into the position to be able to commit the atrocities that were committed,” Pullin commented. “I believe the lessons outlined in this course in collaboration with visiting the Holocaust Museum are an invaluable experience in terms of knowledge and awareness. This goes hand-in-hand with the possibility of visiting the Black History Museum as well – keeping the memory of these events alive is the best chance we have at avoiding a repeat. I hope to use this new perspective to speak out against current or future injustices as well as help educate the student body here at Yavapai College.”
Today, they are traveling to the Jewish Holocaust and African American Museums in Washington, D.C. during Spring Break to experience the history and imagery of what it means when religious or ethnic groups are systematically oppressed, discriminated against, or worse. All three were invited to experience the national museums first-hand by Yavapai County Attorney Shelia Polk. Private tours have been arranged for the student and community leaders.
“The Justice Institute at Yavapai College provides an essential educational and community service. It brings together law enforcement offices from various fields to promote innovative approaches to public service that are grounded in respect, empathy and peace. These innovative approaches are, in turn, passed down to the students through instruction in the classroom, who then put these ideas into practice in their own careers,” said Brandelyn Andres, PhD and chairperson of Yavapai College Respect Campaign. “Our AmeriCorps interns are promising young women who represent a bright future ahead. The Holocaust Museum, which is part of our trip to Washington, D.C., will provide these students with important historical perspectives that are relevant to our current day. Coupled with the Lessons of the Holocaust training that they have already received, the material in the museum will further cement the importance of communication and the idea that true leadership requires respect towards others,” continued Andres.
As Program Director of the Administration of Justice Studies at Yavapai College, Jerald Monahan noted that the What You Do Matters Institute is a leader in training persons in criminal justice all over the United States. “Its purpose is to serve as a constant reminder of how fragile our liberties and freedoms actually are and how even a government can turn into a dangerous mob of bullies and prejudiced individuals,” said Monahan speaking of the Jewish Holocaust.
At Arizona Serve AmeriCorps of Prescott College, we celebrate Danielle Hultquist, Anastasia Lobo and Noelle Pullin for their recognized dedication to their communities. We celebrate our AmeriCorps members during this 2023 AmeriCorps WEEK.