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25 Things About AmeriCorps Alums

February 23, 2009

So we realize that there’s a slight possiblity that we’re being lame according to Time Magazine but we thought that we’d take that risk and share 25 things from five AmeriCorps Alums in the office.  You know one of the nice things about working in an office like ours is that the majority of the people working in the office were once involved in AmeriCorps.

Many of them had stories about the service or had facts about the organization:

Kelsey Boler: (Alumni/volunteer)

1. My year of service was simultaneously one of the most challenging and most rewarding things I have ever done.

2. A great way to live on the Americorps Stipend is to live in a house with 7 other corps members.

3. I think it is impossible to complete a year of service without it changing you- always for the better.

4. Few things compare to the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes from admiring a mural you helped paint over an ugly wall or watching a student you are tutoring finally master his multiplication tables.

5. Never again will I put on a pair of khakis or Timberland boots without being reminded of my City Year.

Zarinah Hameen: (Alumni/volunteer)

1. Americorps taught me that during my term of service, I qualified for food stamps.

2. My three years in Americorps VISTA, Public Allies, and National Direct was equivalent to Childhood, Teenage Years, and finally becoming an adult.

3. The lessons I learned about myself, my skills, and about life through my terms can’t really be summed up in words.

4. I found out what a rummage sale is…

5. I will never hear the word “Affirmation” again without thinking of Public Allies.

Whitney Soenksen: (Member Services & Outreach Coordinator, DC Office)

1. We do all we do with just 3 paid staff (only 2 until a month ago!)

2. Two of us work in Washington DC (Amity and Whitney) and the other operates out of Atlanta (Greg)… the one in Atlanta ends up in DC way more than he probably wants to.

3. We all like to geek out about service and AmeriCorps. (Think coming up with chants, slogans and skits… and probably other really dorky things that we won’t even admit to each other!)

4. AmeriCorps Alums offers diverse and exciting leadership opportunities and two of our staff (Amity and Whitney) started their own chapter (DC and Boston).  You can start your own chapter too, in fact, we would love for you to do just that!

5. Both the DC office and the Atlanta office participate in Tuesday Treats.  The DC office shares space with other amazing service and nonprofit organizations: ServeNext, BeTheChange and MissionFish.

Greg Heinrich: (Alumni Mobilization Manager, Alanta Office)










1. AmeriCorps Alums offers free filing on federal and state tax returns

2. AmeriCorps Alums became part of Points of Light Institute in December, 2004

3. AmeriCorps Alums is based out of Washington, D.C.

4. AmeriCorps Alums offers a Policy Liaison program for alumni interested in helping to improve and expand national service

5. AmeriCorps Alums is operated independently of AmeriCorps, and receives no federal funding

Amity Tripp: (Execuative Director, DC Office)

1. I (Amity, the ED) served in AmeriCorps VISTA and had a challenging year. I’ve been involved in civic engagement every since.

2. We are so excited about our blog,, b/c it is like having a living room conversation with our alumni members.

3. We think alumni are just about the coolest people out there. Their passion for service, their leadership skills and the desire to stay involved in strengthening their communities is a daily inspiration to us.  And we just like hanging out with them.

4. This year is the 15th anniversary of AmeriCorps and we plan to celebrate it in a big way and ask alumni to help us host celebration events in your town. Why not? It is a great reason to shout from the rooftops that AmeriCorps is great.

5. For our kick off celebration in DC, we have invited the First Lady Michelle Obama to come. We’ll let you know what she says!

This post is just the tip of the iceberg, look for some more in depth posts featuring individual staff members.


One Comment leave one →
  1. heidical permalink
    March 11, 2009 1:39 pm

    Also, serving opens up a world of possibilities!

    I served as a VISTA with Habitat for Humanity, moving to Colorado and thinking I’d just move on in a few years.

    Instead, I’ve stayed here. I had a long tenure with the wonderful organization that is Habitat, used my ed award to obtain a graduate degree, engaged a new organization–Rebuilding Together–in national service, remain active in the Colorado Alums chapter & the service community, and am still learning about all things nonprofit, like Web 2.0.

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