Alicia Soaks in the Sun at Elms

Alicia is close to wrapping up her service year with the Elms Environmental Education Center in St. Mary’s County and here’s what she has to say about serving in VM’s AmeriCorps program. 

What are some things that are good to know about you? What are you proud of? What are some good tidbits to know about you?

I’ve always enjoyed learning, sharing, and helping others. Working in the outdoor education and recreation industry for the last 13 years, I’ve had the opportunity to guide and teach across the US, helping thousands of people, of all backgrounds, experience the beauty and wonder of the great outdoors. When not at work, I spend time outside, creating art, playing with our cat, and supporting my military spouse in his career. Something to know about me is I’m very curious and enthusiastic about life, and constantly working to tame that energy a bit so I don’t overwhelm others in my excitement. For example, I might ask you a lot of questions about your life, offer way too many ideas to solve a problem, or tell you more than you care to know about a plant or animal!

Why are you doing a term of service with Volunteer Maryland and AmeriCorps? What motivated you to apply and accept this challenge?

“When I switched to the outdoor industry in 2005, I often worked short-term seasonal positions. Along the way, I discovered that besides having a knack for interpretation (translating complex ideas, usually about science and nature, into everyday language, I found I thrived in the fast-paced, high-output realm of seasonal work. It was extremely rewarding to use my skills to help an organization become more efficient, more organized, reach more community members, and achieve their larger goals, all within a year or less.

“right time, right place.”

This love of variety, problem-solving, and helping people is why I decided to apply and accept this term of service with Volunteer Maryland and AmeriCorps. I had already been working at Elms Environmental Education Center as an educator during the 2017-18 school year, as well as assisting with program development, so when my supervisor told me about the open Volunteer Coordinator position, it seemed like “right time, right place.”


What are you hoping to gain from doing this? What skills are you looking to gain? How does this fit into your long-term goals?

With my familiarity of staff, projects, and goals at my site, I hope to build a valuable, sustainable volunteer program to support our educators and native plant nursery as they increase environmental literacy and habitat diversity. Through their service and mine, I believe we can help increase environmental awareness and action locally, which contributes to positive changes in the greater community, watershed, and world.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Elms Environmental Education Center visit

Looking to serve in AmeriCorps with Volunteer Maryland? Visit


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