Monday, May 14, 2012

What's Next? Life After AmeriCorps

by: Barbara Wheeler, AmeriCorps Assistant Coordinator

At this time last year, I was beginning to realize that I had a fleeting amount of time left to really enjoy my experience with the Vincentian Service Corps. There was much to enjoy about springtime in St. Louis: hiking in Forest Park, cheering on the Cardinals, and – one of my favorites – walking a few blocks to savor a root beer at Fitz’s. Of course, it was rather difficult to appreciate the remaining weeks when I was also anxious about that looming question: What next? 

If this sounds familiar to those of you preparing to become CVN AmeriCorps Alums, you may be interested in our two upcoming webinars delving into the subject of “Life After AmeriCorps”. This Tuesday, May 15, at 7pm EST, Caitlin Baummer and I will be discussing how to access and how to use your award, as well as some of the “lesser known” perks of being AmeriCorps alum. Did you know AmeriCorps alums could get their taxes done for free? Did you know that you could qualify for the National Service Trust to pay the interest that has been accruing on loans that were in forbearance during your term of service? If not, this webinar is for you.

Barbara (red shirt) and her community members at their
house in St. Louis

On May 30, 2012 at 7pm EST, we will be hosting a webinar with Mark McCurdy, “The Non-Profit Career Coach.” If the “What Next” question is weighing on your mind, this webinar is a valuable resource. He will be discussing how your AmeriCorps experience is an excellent asset for a career in the non-profit realm, and he is excited to take your questions.

From one AmeriCorps member to another: don’t spend too much time worrying  about Life After AmeriCorps. We have done the research for you. Attend our webinars, ask questions, and then, enjoy the springtime – and maybe a root beer – with your community.

To register for the May 15 webinar and May 30 webinar, click the links. We're looking forward to talking about life after AmeriCorps!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Gift of Teachers

By: Katie Carroll, Lalanne Volunteer
I always wanted to be a teacher and I thought I would love every minute of it. I had joined Lalanne, a Catholic volunteer program and a long-time member of Catholic Volunteer Network. Lalanne volunteers teach in urban and underserved Catholic schools. My first few months teaching kindergarten were not very easy to say the least. I was filled with doubt about my ability to effectively reach out to the young students in my class. I wondered whether I would even make it to the next day, let alone June!
The day before Christmas break, one of my more challenging students told me that he had a surprise for me. He asked me to close my eyes and stick out my hands. He dug into his pockets and pulled out snacks that he had probably been saving for about two weeks. He explained that he wanted to get me a Christmas present but he didn’t have any money. He decided to save all of his snacks, including his favorite Rice Crispy Treats, so that I could have a really good Christmas present.
At that moment, I realized that I was doing something right. Although it didn’t always seem like it, I was teaching my students. Despite my struggling, I was making a difference. Every Christmas, I buy a Rice Crispy Treat and think about my first class and the lessons we taught each other.
Happy Teachers' Appreciation Week! Take time this week and appreciate your favorite teacher with a Rice Crispy Treat! For more information on the teaching programs offered through Catholic Volunteer Network, visit our website here.