Why were you interested in joining our AmeriCorps program at AHS? I was moving back to the United States and wanted my first position to be in a supportive environment that emphasized team work and professional development in a nonprofit context.
What motivates you as a Career Guide?
My motivation comes mainly from clients- not necessarily those who are employable right now, but those who are ready to work on their skills and presentation and set goals. Employments are important too, of course!
What’s your favorite thing about living in Chicago?
Chicago offers all the opportunities and personality of the metropolis it is while still having the homey fell of the Midwest.
If you could describe your AmeriCorps experience so far in one word or phrase, what would it be?
Diving in head first!
What impact do you hope to make in your service?
If I can positively influence the trajectory of even just a few clients- due to networking, supportive services, job leads, or whatever else- I’m happy with that.
What impact do the adults you serve have on you?
A huge one! Both my clients’ successes and shortcomings come home with me at night. You learn quickly how widespread un- and underemployment is in Chicagoland and that it is rarely the only barrier clients face.
What’s an AmeriCorps memory that you’ll hold onto?
Working for many months with a very specialized client whose job prospects were limited due to this specialization. She didn’t want to deviate from this path, so we tailored the program as much as possible to her needs. And it paid off! A full-time position earning more than either of us would have bet on.
What are you most proud of so far in your service?
There have been two instances where my advocacy for a client has made a substantial difference in how their case has handled by the government, as well as on their personal outcomes. I’m definitely most happy with that.
Where do you see yourself post-AmeriCorps?
I plan to move out of human services. Direct service is actually very much for me; however, work with fewer hard-hitting issues may be better for my work-life balance at the end of the day.
What is your favorite holiday? Christmas! Well, the time leading up to it more than the holiday itself- sitting by the fire when it’s cold, finding the perfect presents, etc.
Where would you most like to travel to? A tie between the Amazon River basin (biodiversity!) and New Caledonia (I keep two gecko species indigenous to this area. Seeing them in the wild is a dream)!
Founded in 1978, AHS is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping people become healthy, educated and employed. We serve all who seek our help, with special expertise in the challenges facing refugees, immigrants and other underserved communities in the greater Chicago area.
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