Birmingham, AL - Through its eight years of hosting an AmeriCorps Program, the YWCA’s “Building Communities, Bettering Lives” members have proven to not only make a great impact through service, but even in the years following as staff. Since the conclusion of the first corps of members in fall of 2010, more than 50 AmeriCorps members have transitioned from AmeriCorps service to full-time or part-time work with the YWCA Central Alabama and partnering AmeriCorps agencies. Some have even garnered multiple job roles within the extended AmeriCorps community over the course of the program, remaining connected in their careers by the passion sparked and development provided through their AmeriCorps service.
It is success like this, which further validates the need for programs like AmeriCorps. With a goal of allowing dedicated individuals an opportunity for meaningful service and community involvement, the YWCA’s AmeriCorps program has also proven to be a great tool to shape skill sets and cultivate interests. “Our AmeriCorps staff goes above and beyond in pouring out resources, trainings and opportunities to our members to help them flourish as they help our community do the same.”, said AmeriCorps Director Angela Abdur-Rasheed. Because of the growth individuals experience as AmeriCorps members, it often allows those alums to become prime candidates to be hired for careers using their passions. The benefit for agencies like the YWCA Central Alabama and partners is that the exhaustive recruiting and vetting process has already been completed and AmeriCorps members often come already dedicated and trained to perform in their new job roles. This is especially special when they are given an opportunity to work around people with whom they already have a vested interest. It’s a win/win for all.
About the Building Communities, Bettering Lives AmeriCorps program
The YWCA Central Alabama first collaborated with AmeriCorps in 2009. Partnering with AmeriCorps through the Governor’s Office of Volunteer Services and the Corporation for National and Community Service, the YWCA and its partner agencies have been able to further change the lives of people in need and reshape the fabric of our community. Service areas have included childcare and after-school enrichment programs for children experiencing homelessness, affordable housing for families and seniors, mentoring, environmental stewardship, volunteer management, an array of domestic violence services, and outreach programs for social justice issues. “Building Communities, Bettering Lives” AmeriCorps members alone served more than 60,000 hours in 2016-2017 benefiting the metro-Birmingham area, Shelby, Blount and St. Clair Counties.
16 YWCA AmeriCorps Alums on as Staff past or present:
Holley Jackson, Stacy Oliver, Rebecca Harkless - YWCA Social Justice
Patrick Bradford, Jacob Smith, Travis Swinford, Xavier Nelson - YWCA Communications
Julia Sanford, DeShunn Wilkerson - YWCA Domestic Violence Services
April Bush - YWCA Family Violence Center and Child Development Center
Darriel King - YWCA After School Enrichment Program
Erika Lewis - YWCA Child Development Center
Rose Prince - YWCA Court Advocate
Michelle Pickett - FVC Relief
Mary Ella Pearson - Our Place Relief
Ty Jackson - My Sister’s Closet
AmeriCorps Partner Agencies (past and present) with 36 AmeriCorps Alums on as Staff past or present:
Dee Haywood, Charity Lassiter, Melissa Swift - AIDS Alabama
Agee Baldwin - AIDS Alabama/Enroll Alabama
Kelsie Overton, Kellie Cosby Collier - Leading Edge Institute
Rob Buddo, Brian Gunn, Shawnda Jones - REV Birmingham
Joycelyn Andrews - Heart Gallery of Alabama
Shauntee Smith, Amanda Williams, Sallie LaRue - Railroad Park
Irion Williams - Pathways
Herb Jackson - Workshops, Inc.
Elishua Markham, Jana Hoffman, Amber Sutton - Safehouse
Meagan Williams, Bianca Walker - Mayor’s Office/Community Policing Revitalization
Kristina Habchi, Melvin Griffin - Community Food Bank of Central Alabama
Bethany Reeves - Girls Inc.
Shir Carson, Kenyata Tate, Xavier Nelson, Molly McConnville - United Way**
Kristina Habchi - Mothers’ Milk Bank
Walter Nolen-Schmidt, DeShunn Wilkerson, Che Hatter, Courtney Stinson, Stacy Oliver - One Roof
Laura Quatrrochi - AEC
Jaszmine Brown - Our Place
Taylor Elom - BBVLP