. . .About My Work
PEOPLE! I get to work with exceptional people. Some of the most awesome people in my life are the members of the Volunteer Maryland Support Team. You have “met” Maureen, Laura, Patrice, and Joy through their posts. Rest assured, they are just as amazing in person! A less visible member of our team, Kimberly, is also wonderful. Her friend, Shukree, made this video. Check it out, he raises important questions about Black History Month. Issues I’ve heard repeated across venues this month, but I heard them from Shukree first. I also get to continue working with the wonderful staff and volunteers from Partners in Care, my Service Site last year and Host Site this service year. Partners in Care graciously gives me space to use so I don’t have to commute to Baltimore daily.
I know I am really spoiled because I also have the privilege of working with the VM24 Volunteer Maryland Coordinators. I couldn’t find an antonym for “shrinking violet” in the thesaurus. If I could, that’s how I would describe the VMCs. The passion and persistence each of them brings to tackling the areas where they serve is inspiring. Some of them are at Service Sites where there has never been a volunteer program and they are implementing one from the ground up. Others are at sites with established programs where the focus is on a plan for sustaining the volunteer effort following this service year. Regardless of the stage of development the programs are in, the VMCs are investing blood, sweat, and tears into the programs and doing it on a “stipend” budget. If their service year is anything like mine was, they are learning, too. Some of the skills they are putting in their repertoire will be on their resumes next year. Others will be on their hearts from this day forward. Our Maryland communities are stronger because of the VMCs and their Service Sites’ commitments to cleaner threatened environments, economically disadvantaged families, and homelessness, to name a few.
The icing on the cake is that I also regularly work with other amazing people in the service field. Last week Joy and I had our initial Destination AmeriCorps Committee meeting. There I was re-introduced to Dara Goldberg, Public Allies AmeriCorps member at the SEED School. I also met Gabbie Hurley, Shane Bryan, and Amanda Rowan, AmeriCorps*VISTA members with MD-DC Campus Compact. They are serving at Notre Dame University of Maryland, University of Maryland College Park, and Chesapeake College, respectively. Danielle Winell-Wagner, with ASTAR! in Frederick, MD, joined us, as did VMCs Marie McSweeney and Donté Taylor. The committee enthusiastically exchanged ideas and resources. Everyone left psyched for the upcoming event, a celebration of service AmeriStyle coming up May 11, 2012. It will be a dynamic opportunity to celebrate service and get to know our colleagues serving in other Maryland AmeriCorps programs.
What are your favorite things about your work?