Mariia Romanchenko is a first-year 900 hour Health Futures member, serving as the Assistant Gardening Specialist at Native Seeds/SEARCH, a Tucson non-profit that focuses on the restoration and protection of a variety of native seeds to local communities to reintroduce forgotten ties to their heritage. 

Traveling the world, to settling in Tucson

Born and raised in Ukraine, Mariia found herself wanting a life of adventure so she set sail to explore the United States. While completing a program in Georgia, Mariia fell in love and began traveling the States with her life partner. Throughout her travels, Mariia has lived by the Georgia coast, in the plains of Indiana, amongst the greenery of Oregon, and eventually settled in the cactus-covered mountains of Arizona. Mariia has always been motivated by her drive to protect the environment, so after acclimating to her new life in Tucson she began to look for career opportunities that involved environmental protection. During her search, Mariia found AmeriCorps and Native Seeds/SEARCH and knew that was an opportunity she needed to take advantage of. 

Skills for Success, and for the Future

This new endeavor for Mariia has not only bolstered her own resume, but has also benefited Native Seeds/SEARCH, and the Tucson community. Driven by her curious spirit and determination Mariia has taken every day at Native Seeds by storm embracing every challenge thrown at her. Her favorite experience during her service so far was when she was working with a fellow volunteer, Jack, learning how to restore panels on Native Seed’s greenhouse and properly use a variety of power tools. 

Mariia’s service has just begun, but after the first few successful weeks, she is already considering re-enrolling in AmeriCorps for the 2023-2024 service year. Mariia sees AmeriCorps as a launching pad for her future goals, her time so far is helping her to set herself up for success. This opportunity is aiding her with building her community/network of people, it is helping her to become more acclimated in Tucson, and learn about all of the other non-profit organizations to help get her foot in the door. 

Wanting to be like Mariia?

Are you motivated by your love for the environment? Wanting to get your hands dirty, and work to protect our planet? Interested in restoring local communities’ connections to their past? Serving as an AmeriCorps member through Arizona Serve could be the right thing for you! 

Get started by looking through our open position postings today!