July 2020


Alexis’ AmeriCorps Experience

This service year has been a rollercoaster, full of highs and lows. With every new movement I felt a sense of growth and achievement. Throughout the year I have had the pleasure to travel to travel to; Tacoma Washington, St. Louis, Missouri, and New Orleans, Louisiana. I have interacted with 300 or more Homeowners from processing applications, meeting them in the office, assisting at outreach events and answering the phones. Working with homeowners has been beyond humbling and emotional. Some homeowners have brought me to tears with their words of advice, their stories and their commitment to community. Talking with volunteers has reminded me that no matter how successful I become I will always make time to give back. The beginning of my term went from spending each day around inspirational people, to working from home every day. In this pandemic I have come to see that Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan does very well with supporting its staff and making sure to never stop serving the community, even when the office is closed.

The staff at Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan has become an extended family who have helped me become a more professionally rounded person. Working under the leadership of Halie Black has been amazing and inspirational. Halie is innovative, knowledgeable and full of passion, she has inspired me to stay involved in the nonprofit sector and eventually begin my own in the far future. Working under the supervision of Chris Perkins has improved my research skills, broaden my resources in the city of Detroit and inspired me to be more knowledgeable. Chris has been the most knowledgeable, patient and trusting supervisor. His ability to assign new task to challenge and also improve our skills in the office was impeccable, especially in the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally working under Mike Hurst was exciting, I honestly felt like Mike kept everyone on their toes in the office. With his overall expertise, and patience to not just show the final product, but to teach how to do new task, has definitely made me feel as if I need to love whatever work that I do, so when I do that work it is always done well.

I think one of the most important parts to mention about my entire service year was working alongside Emma Steele. We both came into our service year fresh from college graduation and were in similar spaces in life. Emma was someone I could confide in, bounce ideas off of and just relate to in general. So, to everyone I had the pleasure to meet and learn from thank you for this experience.


Emma’s AmeriCorps Experience

     Being the AmeriCorps Outreach Coordinator for Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan (RTSEM) was my first “grownup” job. I started the position right out of college and I had never worked full time or in an office environment before. Due to this being a relatively new experience for me, at the cusp of my term, I honestly didn’t have many expectations. All I had was the hope I’d get to do meaningful community service and become more involved in the community around me. Looking back at my experience, I would say that my expectations were met although not necessarily in the ways I thought they would be. Even though my term didn’t go entirely how I thought it would, I can certainly say that I got to be involved in meaningful community service.

     Out of everything I did in the past 10 and a half months, I take the most pride in my service project. I created and led cultural awareness training with our house captains. It’s something I feel will hopefully stay around at RTSEM after I’ve moved on and it makes me glad to know I may have left some impact behind. Aside from my own personal work, other amazing highlights of my term were working with and getting to know my co-workers, attending outreach events, meeting community members, and being able to travel to new places and meet fantastic and inspirational people. Some of my favorite memories in the past year of my life happened on Rebuilding Together sanctioned trips with my fellow CapacityCorps members. I feel so thankful to have met all of them and that I know I have a network within them moving forward.  

   Like most people, I didn’t expect a massive global pandemic. In terms of my job, that resulted in me serving from home for just under half of my term and that most of RTSEM’s build days were canceled. While I can’t lie and say that it wasn’t disappointing, these changes forced me to learn new things and focus on tasks that I wouldn’t have if I wasn’t working remotely. I was able to grow my knowledge and ability to manage our social media accounts, create outreach literature that can be used in the future, and research demographic and outreach data in our service area. 

    Overall, I am grateful for the experience I had, the skills I gained, and the people that I met along the way. I will be leaving AmeriCorps with a greater understanding of non-profit organizations, housing security, and a great network of people that I know I can reach out to. The lessons I learned throughout these past 10 and a half months will definitely stick with me for a long time.



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