By Jessica Reid, Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps alum and Habitat Montgomery County director of community partnerships and family services
In 2005, I became an AmeriCorps VISTA member with Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Having just graduated from college in California, I wanted to spend my first post-graduate year learning new skills. I assumed I would return to California after completing my term.
Seven years later, I am still working with the Habitat affiliate as the director of community partnerships and family services. I proudly serve as the affiliate’s AmeriCorps host site manager and as a member of Habitat for Humanity International’s National Service host site council. I feel fortunate to have had the transformative experience of AmeriCorps and equally lucky to have done my service with Habitat.
This week, I am attending the 2012 National Service Leadership Conference. I’ve had the pleasure of attending the annual conference for the past three years, and each year it gets better. I see firsthand how the conference gives AmeriCorps members tools to be successful and the chance for training and networking.
As a Habitat AmeriCorps alum, the best part of the conference is the opportunity to talk with new members. The enthusiasm present at each conference fills me with a renewed commitment to service and to Habitat. Every year, I return home with a sense of pride and full of the contagious energy of members.
If you have the chance to meet with an AmeriCorps member, please take it! On the job site, in the office, executing programs or building capacity, AmeriCorps members make a dynamic contribution to Habitat’s work. I count myself blessed to be a part of the AmeriCorps family and proud to be an AmeriCorps alum. I look forward to taking the AmeriCorps pledge with the 2012-2013 class next week.