Reasons to Join AmeriCorps as a High School Student
Written by Emma Kroner
I’ve always been interested in helping my community, and throughout the years I have made a lot of efforts to work with groups who do exactly that. I have been connected to Arizona Serve‘s AmeriCorps group for a long time; meeting/working with many members and establishing connections with the organization. I’ve been interested in serving with them for a couple of years now, so when I was contacted about the opportunity to join the United Way Student Ambassador Program, I was immediately interested!
Why I Became a United Way Student Ambassador
As a high school senior, I need to work on building up my resume and skills before I leave for college and AmeriCorps seemed like a perfect solution. It has given me an amazing opportunity to not only help my community while building my skills but also to meet amazing new people and have awesome experiences!
There are many benefits to joining the program, including a scholarship and college credits, but it also provides many other services and resources to help you make the next step in life.
High schoolers in the program also meet a multitude of amazing people, from others in the program and AmeriCorps to the people you serve. It is a commitment, but it is very fulfilling and is easy to work into your schedule.
My Experience with Service-Learning Through AmeriCorps
My service with the United Way Student Ambassador Program has been untraditional from the start. I was selected to serve in a very different way from the other students in the program who normally work inside classrooms. I was selected to help the Center for Nature and Place at Prescott College create a nature-based curriculum for young children and assist with social media.
I immediately accepted this service-learning opportunity, as I not only had a lot of years of experience with nature-based curriculum through both my middle school and high school but I also had an interest in environmental science and education, so it fit perfectly for me.
I used my experience with similar curriculums and a love for nature and the environment to give new and creative perspectives on this style of education and even created individual lesson plans for specific topics, additionally running the social media accounts for the center. I felt very fulfilled in this position and was very excited to see where my service would lead me next.
Currently, I serve with the main Arizona Serve office, running social media and outreach, and assisting the middle school students and teachers at my school, Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy. This is providing a very different experience for me, but it has still assisted me in establishing my skills and building on my professionalism.
At the middle school, I simply help around and assist the teachers and students with anything they might need. This has given me a chance to be in a classroom environment not as a student. For my service at the Arizona Serve office, I have learned a lot more about professionalism and the traditional work environment, as well as how to balance my time and various commitments. I have the amazing opportunity to be creative and use my skills with social media to do outreach and boost interaction with our audiences.
Growing Personally and Professionally
Working with AmeriCorps and the Student Ambassador Program has been an amazing opportunity that has taught me a lot about myself and helped me learn new skills and experiences.
Because I joined this program, I now have more clarity about my future and how I can contribute to my communities. I hope to continue to work with organizations like this in the future and continue helping the world and I urge others to do the same.
The Verdict is…
If you ever have the opportunity to serve with AmeriCorps or any other organization like it, I would recommend you do it because it will help you and your community in so many ways.