As I end my first year as Director for the AmeriCorps program, I must admit it was an exciting learning curve. For most of my working career in Alaska, I was either working for or with an elected official, or I was a Program Coordinator, where I required social service organizations to smother me with paperwork. Now the tables are turned! I successfully wrote and received funding to continue three more years of our AmeriCorps program for the United Way of Southeast Alaska. Wayne and I were also tasked to provide gobs of paperwork for a desk audit. We anticipate hearing the results of this audit in the next few weeks, which will help us learn how to strengthen our program.
Fortunately, the fun part of this position was supporting this passionate, energetic, and adaptable group of AmeriCorps members. By adaptable, I mean navigating the myriad of changes due to COVID-19. COVID-19 meant adjusting to their new work environments (the couch or bed), staying healthy, and recognizing that several of their projects would abruptly end. We appreciated their willingness to accept these alterations and serve their sites to the best of their ability. June 27th is their graduation day! We will be celebrating outside at Auke Rec. I am excited to share that, of the eight members on our current AmeriCorps team, Maggie and Liz are remaining in Juneau to serve for another year; Miranda is serving a second year with AmeriCorps in Nebraska; Genevieve has taken a full-time position at her host site, SERRC; Leann hopes to find work in Juneau or Sitka; and three members are continuing to further their education. 50% are staying in the great state of Alaska.
Thank you to all that have supported our AmeriCorps members. Thank you AmeriCorps members for your dedication to serving and sharing your talents in the community of Juneau.
AmeriCorps Program Director
p.s. Thus far, the 2020-2021 AmeriCorps cohort has doubled in size. Currently, 12 members have committed to serving in Juneau!