Today is the 20th anniversary celebration of AmeriCorps, an organization near and dear to my heart. I spend two years of my life proudly wearing the distinct AmeriCorps “A” on my sleeve, and those were only two of the 20 years that young adults like myself have spent getting things done in this country to help make our communities better places.
AmeriCorps, today you are 20 years old. We were only together for a couple of those 20 years, but what a couple years they were!
In the span of those two years, I was connected with kindergarteners in Colorado, animals and nature and the people who care about them in Texas, families in Alabama whose lives had been upended (literally) by disaster, hard working people in Oklahoma trying to support their families and pay their taxes, Milwaukeeans making their dream of decent affordable housing come true, and finally, young people like myself who are full of energy and want to use it to make a difference. In this short time I connected with people born in every decade from the 1920s to the 2000s, all from different states, ethnicities, and backgrounds. And it was all because of that A on my shirt sleeve.
AmeriCorps was not just about service, or even just about #GettingThingsDone. I burst out of my comfort zone and expanded my horizons. Through my AmeriCorps service, I was introduced to humanity.
Happy big 2-0, AC.