AmeriCorps Fellows First Weeks

December 05, 2011
Alicia Williams

Fellows have been out in the field getting to know their host organizations and actively recruiting volunteers. It has been an exciting time for the fellows as they reach out to members of their assigned communities in an effort to start the exciting work of getting people committed to community unity. Taking on such a task is challenging, but it definitely has its perks. Fellows are responsible for recruiting volunteers, and having face to face meetings with community leaders is a part of that process. It is always nice to meet people like Sister Ann who Karina, a fellow with the Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project, had a one-on-one meeting with. Sister Ann who has dedicated 17 years of her life to community service, teaches English to immigrant women that migrate to the U.S. and settle in Bolingbrook, IL.

Another part of the volunteer recruitment process is giving presentations to various groups. Garcon, a fellow with the Uniting African Organization, gave a presentation at East University, and stressed how important it is to actively engage potential volunteers as much as possible. That is exactly what he did. Putting in the extra effort to sit down with folks and have a sincere conversation with them about the personal importance of volunteerism is one of the most crucial moments in successfully getting committed volunteers. The entire recruitment process so far, as expressed by the fellows, is getting people excited about strengthening their communities through volunteerism. Underneath all of that excitement and passion is empowerment.

Empowerment is the most significant underlying theme of the Uniting America program. Empowering community members is an integral part of unifying the divided. As fellows we will be responsible for creating opportunities for community members to come together in an effort to strengthen their community.  Working together to create a more unified community will shed light on the importance of building strong personal relationships that can change hearts and minds.