Accessing Home deploys AmeriCorps members across Rhode Island to advocate for families experiencing housing instability. Since 2016, 18 AmeriCorps members have graduated from the program, earning professional certifications and over $75,000 in education awards!
I caught up with 3 former AmeriCorps members to see what they are up to and get their advice for new Accessing Home candidates. Here’s what Eben has to say:
Accessing Home is currently recruiting AmeriCorps members for the 2019-2020 service year. Are you ready to serve? Apply today!
- Served: 2017-2018
- Site: NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, Woonsocket, RI
- Current Job: Millrace Business Development Manager & Community Builder-in-Residence, NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley
Why did you decide to join Accessing Home AmeriCorps?
I saw it as a great opportunity to further understand the housing affordability situation in RI so I could leverage that knowledge to help my community at large. And to prepare me for the future when I buy my own house.
Prior to joining AmeriCorps, what was your educational/professional background?
I think serving with Accessing Home helped me become a professional. During my service term I was in school studying video/audio production. I was able to apply my field of study in Accessing Home because I had to coordinate a lot of meetings and take photos at social engagements.
What did you gain from your AmeriCorps experience?
I gained a lot of knowledge about finances, housing, and about how subsidized housing works, so it was very educational experience. I also gained experience working in a nonprofit and now I understand how a community development organization works.
What is your favorite memory from your AmeriCorps year?
I really enjoyed meeting regularly with all the other AmeriCorps members and discussing all the stuff we had accomplished. Every meeting we would trouble-shoot and figure out how we could do better. Another memory I like is the time I got to speak at Woonsocket City Hall about my AmeriCorps service. As nerve-wracking as that was, I was really glad I did it. I also met Senator Jack Reed!
What is your proudest achievement from your AmeriCorps year?
My proudest achievement of the whole AmeriCorps year was being part leasing the brand new Greenridge affordable apartments. After the tenants moved in, I sat down with them and oriented them to the new units. To me, that was a great experience because I got to meet people living in their homes. Occasionally, it was a tenant’s first time being on their own and it was really rewarding to see people happy and comfortable in their own apartment.
What are you doing now, professionally? How did AmeriCorps get you where you are today?
I just took a position as the Millrace Business Development Manager. AmeriCorps helped me get this job because, during my service term, I was helping the previous person with this role. So Accessing Home helped me develop my professional network and learn about project management.
How will you use your education award?
That’s paying off loans! And buying a new camera for school.
What advice do you have for anyone thinking about joining Accessing Home AmeriCorps?
My advice is utilize the network that you have around you during your service term because, when you graduate from Accessing Home and move on to the next step, that will be the same network that helps you get to a professional career.