Member Stories

Every month, we profile some of our amazing AmeriCorps members from around the country and ask them to tell us about their year of service so far. Here are just a few of those profiles. You can find more of them on our Facebook Page.

#CalSERVESHighFive Profiles 2016-2017

Michael Lampear

Photo of CalSERVES member Michael Lampear

1. Why CalSERVES?
I started my first CalSERVES service term as a Classroom Leader when I was 18 years old. I was looking for something meaningful, but not a typical job. Two years ago, I came back in a part-time AmeriCorps position because I love kids and what this program does. Now I’m a full-time AmeriCorps member, and I credit CalSERVES for creating a passion for kids within me.

2. What is your favorite part of being a CalSERVES AmeriCorps member?
My favorite part is being around the children and seeing them grow and change. I also like that I don’t do the same thing for eight hours every day, and the people I work with keep me entertained!

3. What is your degree?
I have an associate’s degree in mathematics, and bachelor’s degrees in sociology and philosophy with a minor in astronomy.

4. Movies or books?
Books! They let you use your mind, and teach you more than movies.

5. What life after AmeriCorps look like for you?
I’m thinking about becoming a paraprofessional in my school’s district. Eventually, I would also like to get a teaching degree or go to graduate school.

 

Zubayah Madyun

Photo of CalSERVES member Zubayah Madyun

1. Why CalSERVES?
CalSERVES found me! I finished college and one of my friends was serving with AmeriCorps, so I made a profile on the general website. I was looking to serve in Hawaii, but California seemed good too. This program was also a great fit for my previous work experience, so I decided to join!

2. How do the CalSERVES programs benefit the community?
We supply our students with tools like social skills, healthy habits, and other life skills. CalSERVES paves the way for better community members and helps prepare kids for the rest of their life. We want students to know there’s a world outside their neighborhoods, and better choices now mean more options for them later.

3. Which CalSERVES Service Day project was most meaningful for you?
I really liked our Global Youth Service Day project at Valley of the Moon Children’s Home last year. I felt especially connected to the project because one of my kids from site lived there. I also enjoyed seeing the immediate results of cleaning their garden!
This year, I loved being part of the H.U.T.S. construction for Make A Difference Day. Some other branches of AmeriCorps do work that’s more building and construction based, so I enjoyed doing a different type of work than I usually do with CalSERVES AmeriCorps.

4. What is your spirit animal?
It’s complicated! I really like red pandas, but I chose bald eagle for my CalSERVES hiring interview because I was feeling patriotic…

5. What does life after AmeriCorps look like for you?
Graduate school! I haven’t decided, but I might go for a doctorate in industrial organizational psychology. Immediately after my service ends I’m going to India because it’s my third gap year—I have to fill it with something!

 

Jamie Anderson

Photo of CalSERVES member Jamie Anderson

1. Why CalSERVES?
I really wanted to stay in California, but move to Northern California. I got several emails from CalSERVES and it didn’t seem like something I wanted to do at first, but I realized it was a good opportunity to make a difference in children’s lives.

2. What is your favorite part of being a CalSERVES AmeriCorps member?
Getting to know the kids–when I first came they were a mass of little humans. Now I know kids on an individual basis, and I love getting to know so many people at my school. Kids have such depth we don’t always recognize as adults.

3. What is the best part of your day at RL Stevens?
Anytime I’m mentoring because it’s another time to get to know the kids individually. They’re such beautiful human beings, and they’re just getting started with their lives. I also love mentoring because I know I’m providing a positive influence. I can tell kids I don’t like their behavior, while making sure they know I like them. I think that’s really important for kids to understand.

4. Mountains or beach?
That’s a hard question…I guess I’ll go with mountains because there’s more you can do. I love the beach too though.

5. What does life after AmeriCorps look like for you?
I don’t know! I might do another service year because it would be cool to stay here longer with the kids. I might get my master’s and go abroad. It’s all a blur.

 

Lauren Wiebe

Photo of CalSERVES member Lauren Wiebe

1. Why CalSERVES?
After graduating college, I wanted to find meaningful work and an adventure. CalSERVES AmeriCorps perfectly matched my post-grad goals, and I was very excited about the range of their programs & positions. The staff was also amazing throughout my application & interview process–they helped me pick the best position for my skills and career goals.

2. What are the responsibilities of the Regional Leader position?
I mostly work ‘behind the scenes” with our administrative team in the office. My focus is supporting our AmeriCorps Mentors, particularly those at our seven Sonoma County sites. I help plan events, maintain program websites, manage social media accounts, create trainings, recruit and track community volunteers, and create member appreciation projects. I’m also really excited I get to mentor four students!

3. What is your favorite part of being a CalSERVES AmeriCorps member?
I love all of the team building CalSERVES AmeriCorps members participate in! AmeriCorps service can be really demanding, but being part of a strong team makes everyday so much easier and rewarding.

4. What is your spirit animal?
A bobcat–small but fierce!

5. What does life after AmeriCorps look like for you?
I’ve just committed to another AmeriCorps service term with CalSERVES, so I’m not sure yet! I may go to graduate school, or get a job in the non-profit world. I’m hoping my experience with CalSERVES will help me decide!

 

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