Transitions

One month. It’s hard to believe that a little more than that quick period of time is left in the service year. There have been times, for both the RCs and VMCs, when the service year seemed like it was going on for an eternity. It’s hard to say that now; time feels as if it’s quickly slipping away. Sustainability plans are finalizing, regional meetings are becoming fewer and fewer, and talks of our end of the year finale are more frequent. I feel that we have finally reached a point when we can really sit back and reflect on a considerable amount of time dedicated to so much growth.  
 
I recently did some research on ways to assist with the transition from an AmeriCorps experience to another phase of life. I found some interesting documents, including some guiding questions on how to recognize and consider your post-AmeriCorps transition. This particular page is part of a tutorial comprised of topics that are specific to an AmeriCorps member’s experience. While changing jobs or career fields is a natural progression, I believe that a transition out of an AmeriCorps experience could potentially be difficult- if a member is quite involved with their service year and finally used to the experience as he/she is nearing the end, finding the time to figure out next steps and adjust to another change can be challenging. Let me know what you think of these resources and if it applies to your AmeriCorps experience or another transitional stage of life.
 
In a couple of weeks the Volunteer Maryland class will be witnessing a transition: three of our second year VMCs will be ending their service year. These members were given the opportunity to begin their service year earlier than their classmates which means that their exit occurs earlier as well. They have worked tirelessly for two years, bringing innovative ideas and substantial growth to their volunteer programs. During this service year I had the pleasure of working closely with one of the 2nd years, Marisa. I knew Marisa when we were VMCs in last year’s class but it wasn’t until she was in my region this year that I had a chance to truly understand the great work she’s done at her site. As a VMC at the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation, Marisa revitalized the Greening of Dundalk Program.  Through this program she has provided residents with many outlets to understand and better their environment, including tree plantings, community clean-ups, classes and seminars on greening topics (recycling, rain barrel construction, and more) and activities that actively and appropriately engaged the community. She listened to the community’s needs, creatively utilized social media, and challenged her fellow neighbors to take a part in the development of their community. Marisa played a large role in not only increasing other’s knowledge but contributing to community identity and spirit.
 
Congratulations to Marisa, Grace and Sandy as they transition from an incredible two years to many more years of success!
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