Since an early age, I have been a huge supporter of the AmeriCorps ideal.
AmeriCorps is an opportunity to make a big difference in your life and in the lives of those around you. It’s a chance to apply your skills and ideals toward helping others and meeting critical needs in the community.
Each year, AmeriCorps offers 75,000 opportunities for adults of all ages and backgrounds to serve through a network of partnerships with local and national nonprofit groups. Whether your service makes a community safer, gives a child a second chance, or helps protect the environment, you’ll be getting things done through AmeriCorps!
And yet, despite my continued support for it, AmeriCorps hasn't worked out so well for my family.
A few years ago, I was selected to be an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer...and then I wasn't. Upon meeting the very odd me, my project supervisor decided I wouldn't be a "good fit" after all and so, before I even had the chance to begin, I was deselected.
This past Fall my brother was selected to be an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. He actually made it through the mandatory training and began service at his site. However, for reasons that were never explained, the agency that selected him decided to change the parameters of their program and he too mysteriously was deselected.
So, that puts the Smith family batting 0 for 2!
As you all know, my wife, Della, was selected to be an AmeriCorps National/State volunteer. She made it through her mandatory training and served almost half of her term. However, unlike my brother and I, she was not deselected. No, she was forced to withdraw because of a serious health issue.
In all, of the 30 months of our combined terms, we managed to serve less than 4 months of 'em. Still, despite the fact AmeriCorps hasn't worked out well for the three of us, I still believe in the program and encourage any readers who have an interest in it to check it out.