AmeriCorps—sure, you’ve heard the name, but what is it, exactly? Officially, it’s a federal program that connects volunteers with full-time community service at non-profits across the country. Ask us here at Habitat and we’ll tell you that our AmeriCorps members are an enthusiastic team who devote a year to serving others, doing everything from building and repairing homes to helping our programs operate more efficiently. The truth, though, is that no matter how you define it, being an AmeriCorps member is a huge commitment. So we asked them a simple question: why do they serve?
Nick Pesta is a construction crew leader on our homebuilding team. “I graduated college a year and a half ago and started working at an engineering job,” he says. “But I just wasn’t satisfied with what I was doing. I had volunteered a lot in college and felt more drawn to that kind of work, so I decided to make a change in my life and do a year of service with AmeriCorps. I wanted to see how that fits with me, and decide where I want to lead my life after this.”
Hannah Baker is also a construction crew leader. Like Nick, she teaches Habitat’s volunteers and partner families how to frame walls, install windows, paint walls and more. “I just graduated from Central [High School] in June,” she says. “I picked AmeriCorps because after I got accepted to school I decided that I needed to grow up a little. I needed to learn more about life, and not just live inside my own bubble. So I thought that with my first year of adulthood, I would try giving back, and not just taking. And I think it’s going pretty well!”
Brian Lafferty, our volunteer coordinator, helps to recruit and build relationships with the 3,000 volunteers that join us every year. “I graduated St. Joseph’s University in May,” he says. “I had volunteered a lot on week-long service trips with Habitat during college, and that’s where I heard about the AmeriCorps program. I’m enjoying every day here. It’s definitely a humbling experience. And I think it’s definitely worth it—it’s a great way to grow and learn.”
Different stories, but one common thread: AmeriCorps is about making a true difference in the lives of others. It’s about strengthening your skills, your talents, and your commitment to the community. It’s dynamic, demanding, and rewarding–and it’s an amazing way to contribute to Habitat’s mission. Learn about how you can apply for our yearly AmeriCorps positions by visiting our website, and meet our entire AmeriCorps team on our YouTube page!