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.