How to Deal With a Hard Headed Three Year Old

filename-1(1)

Have you ever tried to rationalize with a three-year-old?  Apparently, this is something my mother had to do on a regular basis.  According to her, the stubbornness started when I was born, 10 days after my due date! I was born in May, so the Taurus bull in me reared its head often. When I was three years old and trying to learn a backward somersault for gymnastics, my mom tells me I would practice over and over again.  She said I had bruises on the back of my head because the floor in our house was so hard.  She remembers continually asking me to stop and that my answer to her was always, “Just one more”.  After two hours of banging my head on the floor, I had the backward somersault!  You might be thinking: this does not sound like a difficult child.  However,  I also insisted on having my mom watch me.  I wanted to make sure that once I mastered the backward somersault, she would see it.

I slowly learned to use my bull-like powers for good and not evil! We rarely ate fast food, but once in awhile my Pop would cave and take me to McDonald’s.  We were taking a ride through town on our way to get a burger when I saw a woman with two young children sitting on the side of the road holding a sign that said, “Please help, homeless & hungry”.   I remember feeling confused.  I am sure I saw homeless and hungry people before, but for some reason, she stuck out in my head.  She had two girls with her and it made me think – what if those two girls were my sister and I – what if that woman was my mom.  I internalized their situation and I had to do something about it.  I asked Pop if he would buy three extra hamburgers.  He asked me why I needed three more hamburgers if I had just finished eating!  I described what I had seen and pleaded for him to buy the hamburgers for the lady.  Pop did not like to waste money, but he hated disappointing me more – and I knew that!  I got my way, we gave the hamburgers to the family, and every weekend for about five months, we drove around our town handing out anything I could squander from the cupboards in our house.  I think my mom was actually planting extra canned goods and boxed food in order to boost my enthusiasm.

Whether you call it being hard headed, stubborn, or persistent, this Nicki With Oystersattitude has helped me in so many aspects.  As a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator in the Class of VM 24, this resolve helped me to accomplish many difficult or challenging volunteer projects. As a VMC at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, I called on my bullish nature to do anything from get trees planted to train Girl Scouts about oyster restoration.  Through the many projects and programs we were able to accomplish many meaningful volunteer experiences.  I am looking forward to being part of so many more!

Advertisements

Getting the best out of the AmeriCorps experience

For many AmeriCorps programs July is a time of transition.  AmeriCorps members might be coming up on the end of their time of service, or they have already graduated and are moving into the next stage, whatever that may be for them.  Here at Volunteer Maryland, as Kerry said, we have just about five more weeks left in our service year.  Many of our class are on the job hunt, looking for the best place to use their skills.  Alumni of AmeriCorps bring special skills and experience with them, and Volunteer Maryland Coordinators especially.  If you happen to be hiring, here are some of the benefits of hiring a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator, as originally printed by former VMer, Megan Stransky:

1)      Volunteer Maryland Coordinators are well trained!  Volunteer Maryland provides around 100 hours of training to our AmeriCorps members on topics ranging from the basics of volunteer management, to conflict resolution, to storytelling for nonprofits, to time management, and the list goes on.  Not only that, they also have a toolbook that contains all the secrets to volunteer management that they get to take with them after the service year ends.  That thing is a brick and contains a ton of information that they can share with you and your staff to help the whole organization better understand volunteer management.

2)      They are committed.  There is no better way to judge a person’s commitment than to offer them a difficult, full-time, 11 month job, for an AmeriCorps living stipend of $13,000 (after taxes, it’s more like $10,000).  When you work that down to the hourly rate, it’s really not much money and for the challenges some of our members face, it shows how dedicated to the cause they are that they are willing to do the work for so little (after all, the goal of AmeriCorps is not to get rich, but to serve others).

3)      They are creative problem solvers.  VMCs either work with existing volunteer programs to make them more successful or work on creating brand new volunteer programs for organizations that have never worked with volunteers before.  Either way, they generally face challenges in doing this and need to rely on their own creativity to solve the problem at hand.

4)      They are fun to work with.  When you work in a nonprofit, you deal with some pretty serious issues, but knowing how to have fun at work can make facing those issues a whole lot easier.  Well, VMCs are a fun group of people—they like karaoke, gardening, going to the beach, bowling, etc.—and they could definitely help lighten the atmosphere at your organization.

5)      They are part of a great network of AmeriCorps alumni that your organization can tap into.  Since 1992, Volunteer Maryland has had over 500 AmeriCorps members serve at nonprofits across the state.  Not only that, but thousands of people have served in AmeriCorps since its inception, every single one of them knows how much passion and determination it takes to serve in AmeriCorps, many still work in the nonprofit sector, and they are willing to help their fellow alumni succeed in life after AmeriCorps.  So, if you need some connections in the nonprofit world, hiring an AmeriCorps alumnus (specifically, a VM alumnus) can really help you tap into that network.

To Boldly Go

By Kerry Ose and Bilqis Rock

As a Volunteer Maryland Peer Leader, I have been impressed by the way that many of the VMCs in my group are blazing a new trail.  They are coordinator volunteer programs that do not exist yet, or, as one VMC put it, “advocating for volunteers before they are here.”

The stories I am hearing from these VMCs are inspiring.  They are meeting with program directors, assessing needs, creating volunteer position descriptions, writing manuals and just generally developing a whole new arm of their organizations.  But it isn’t easy.  The origins of volunteer programs are a bit like creation myths — they involve obstacles, conflict, perseverance and lessons learned.

Bilqis Rock, one of my fellow VMCs from VM24, has always been particularly good at telling the story of her nascent volunteer program at Health Care for the Homeless (HCH), so I thought I would invite her to co-write this blog.  She writes:

For a nonprofit, working with volunteers is a no-brainer. Volunteers are passionate about the cause, give your organization great PR, and best of all, they’re free! What’s not to love? This is what I thought entering Health Care for the Homeless last Fall as a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator. Turned out, volunteers were a tougher sell.

From the get-go, my supervisor told me that the challenge to developing a volunteer program at HCH would not lie in volunteer recruitment; there are many people requesting to volunteer with HCH every day. The more difficult part would be the internal work of establishing systems and expectations among staff members in order to create meaningful, sustainable and useful opportunities to engage community members.

I thought, pssht, people just need to hear the volunteer gospel, and they’ll get it. I’ll be able to put volunteers in action in no time.

During my HCH orientation, I asked a variety of team leaders, what ideas do you have for volunteer involvement with your team? In what ways can your staff and clients be supported? Some people told me how volunteers had not been useful in the past. Some came up with a few trivial tasks. Most often, I was met with a blank look.

Soon I realized that putting volunteers to work right away was not going to be my job. My job was going to be about building relationships with people across the HCH community to find out the answers to the question, “where do the needs, interests and abilities of HCH clients, staff and community intersect?”  Creatively finding those intersections is the key to building a volunteer program at HCH.

These beautifully came together on a couple of occasions—when a barber provided haircuts for the men’s group, when physical therapy students provided otherwise inaccessible PT services, when public health and nursing students completed research projects and service efforts—but the process continues to be a work in progress.

Staff members are not inherently resistant the volunteers; I’ve found it is often rooted in a lack of vision for how volunteers should be appropriately incorporated into HCH’s work, and a lack of support for staff members throughout the volunteer process. These are areas that need to change to develop the volunteer program. This work takes time, and it’s a constantly moving target.

My training as a social worker comes in handy. I try to meet staff members where they are in terms of working with volunteers. I seek to understand their working environments and their motivations for resistance to change. Eventually, being able to acknowledge their perspectives, I ask them to form new ways of thinking and try new ways of operating.

What I know now is that deciding to engage volunteers in a nonprofit’s work is a no-brainer. Figuring out how to make that happen is a different story.

A Beautiful Friendship

About  a year ago, my daughter and I joined Volunteer Maryland Coordinator Abby Becker and several other volunteers to help with fall cleaning at The St. Francis Neighborhood Center (SFNC) in the Reservoir Hill neighborhood in Baltimore.  Though we were there for only a few hours, there was no doubt in my mind that this was an extraordinary place.

Founded in 1963 by a group of priests, seminarians and community members, SFNC is, according to its mission statement, “committed to breaking the cycles of poverty through education, inspiring self-esteem, self-improvement, and strengthening connections to the community.  SFNC strives to give people hope for a better tomorrow by providing them with the tools they need for a better today.”

SFNC provides a wide range of programs and services, including Peace Patrol WalksCommunity Mediation, and the Power Project, which is a multi-faceted youth development program.

Three years ago, SFNC began partnering with Volunteer Maryland, welcoming their first Volunteer Maryland Coordinator, Corrine Handy.  At that time, the SFNC staff had virtually no staff, and the Power Project hadn’t even started yet.  Today, SFNC has a staff of four, including Corrine and two subsequent VMCs, Sara Sullivan and Abby Becker.  That’s right — SFNC built its stellar staff and strong programming in large part by partnering with Volunteer Maryland three years in a row.

VM doesn’t deserve all the credit, of course.  SFNC staff have an amazing aptitude for building partnerships and leveraging community resources.  Reflecting on her year as a VMC, Abby Becker writes, ” I am proud to have cultivated wonderful volunteers who are reliable and dedicated to our programs in the long-term, particularly to working with The Power Project.  Each day, we now have at least one person who is truly tied to our mission and deeply connected to the young people.”

picture.jpg
photo credit: Ran Zeimer

Now that Abby (pictured above with the rest of the SFNC staff at the Reservoir Hill Festival) is a permanent staff member, she continues to be enthusiastic about the many opportunities SFNC has to offer. “We have many fall community programs, including Free Job Readiness Workshops, Free Personal Finance Workshops, and the continued Free Community Yoga classes, all of which are open to the public.

In the Power Project, students have loved our fall enrichment activities:  printing press workshops, African Drumming and Dancing with Zebra Kids, and a special arts series in partnership with the Walters Art Museum, focusing on Black Renaissance Art.  The students’ artwork will be featured in an exhibition this weekend at the Walters Free Renaissance Family Festival.  And don’t forget:  the Reservoir Hill Festival was September 15th – our most successful yet!  It featured 10 live bands, a community resource fair, and The Gathering – Baltimore’s premier food trucks.”

Suffice it to say, SFNC is a happening place, and one of the most beautiful examples of what a long, fruitful partnership with Volunteer Maryland can yield.

From AmeriCorps to Peace Corps to a Life of Service: How AmeriCorps Worked for Zach Taylor

As part of our celebration of AmeriCorps Week, we’re highlighting how AmeriCorps worked for VM alumni.  This is just one of many success stories!

As the Volunteer Maryland Coordinator with West/Rhode Riverkeeper in Class 20, Zach Thomas strengthened volunteer participation in a variety of projects including Creek Watchers

, water quality monitoring, environmental education, and shoreline clean-up and restoration.  Zach engaged over 230 volunteers in environmental activities that affected 29 tidal sites and 12 non-tidal stream sites, planted 200 native trees, and improved the overall ecology of the watershed.  After his AmeriCorps term of service, Zach spent nearly three years in El Salvador with the Peace Corps building eco-efficient wood-burning stoves, fundraising for computers, teaching English, and starting a Leadership Training Course.  Upon returning to the United States, Zach knew he wanted to continue working in the service field.  With his service background and the skills he developed as an AmeriCorps member and Peace Corps Volunteer, Zach found a great fit as the Manager of Mediation Services for the Center for Conflict Resolution.

A World of Opportunities: How AmeriCorps Worked for Rose Carey

As part of our celebration of AmeriCorps Week, we’re highlighting how AmeriCorps worked for VM alumni.  This is just one of many success stories!

“It’s worthwhile.  Even at my age, I’ve learned so much.”

A lifetime worth of enrichment

Rose Carey, retired from the working for the State after 32 years, was looking for part-time work.  She contacted the Holly Center, a resident facility for the developmentally disabled, for that purpose: finding work.  Their response?  We need help recruiting volunteers.

Thus, Rose began working with the Holly Center and helping with volunteer recruitment.  It wasn’t until three months working with the Center that an opportunity presented itself in the form of an AmeriCorps position as a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator.  Rose spent two years with the Holly Center as a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator.  She was charged with recruiting volunteers for the organization as well as for special events, including the Special Olympics where she recruited over 200 volunteers!   The Center has hosted this event for eight years since its inception during Rose’s service year.

Rose stands next to the banner that displays her photo everywhere we go!

Unexpected Connections

Originally from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Rose spent most of her professional career working as a secretary within State government.  Serving as an AmeriCorps member through Volunteer Maryland provided her with many different and unexpected opportunities.  Rose was now in a position where she was surrounded by people from different backgrounds and age groups.  She was pleasantly surprised to find that as an older adult, she thrived off of the energy and enthusiasm of her younger colleagues.  She was also surprised at the fact that she was able to develop and maintain friendships with those younger colleagues.

Further, living on the Eastern Shore means living with an understanding that the area is somewhat geographically isolated from the rest of Maryland.  Being able to attend Volunteer Maryland trainings and regional meetings provided her with an opportunity to travel within the state and made her more aware of the state of Maryland and its diversity.

A Trained Professional

“I’m glad to have been a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator.  It enriched my life.”  

When the opportunity originally presented itself, Rose did not think that being a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator meant enrolling in an actual program where she would learn the foundation pieces for becoming an effective manager of volunteers.  She attended the Volunteer Maryland trainings, learned about volunteer management, and put what she learned into practice.  While Rose had had some previous work experience dealing with people, she had never actively recruited individuals.  As a secretary, Rose was used to doing things a certain way and following a step by step process.  After working with the Holly Center and Volunteer Maryland, she’s come to realize that everything is not so “by the book.”

“It taught me how to deal with people in the day to day experience.  Every volunteer is different; every volunteer does so for different reasons.”

Addicted to Travel

“I wish, in some ways, that I could have done this when I was younger. It has changed my life.  I feel so fortunate. Without my AmeriCorops experience, I wouldn’t have done so much.”

After retirement, Rose made the decision that she wanted to take some time and travel.  Aside from family vacations to Mexico, she had never been outside of the country.  Thanks to her Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, Rose was able to do just that.  She arranged her first trip through Delaware Technical Community College; it was a trip to Mexico.  She stayed with a Mexican family, learned Spanish, and took tours of the surrounding area.  It was the beginning of a wonderful addiction.  Next, Rose used some of her award to travel to Turkey.  She had the opportunity to visit a mosque during prayer and experienced the culture firsthand.  Still having funds left, she traveled to Scotland to take a course on Administration.  She visited the Post Office and the Embassy.  She also went to Ireland.  The following year she traveled to Vietnam on her own (not using her Award) and took time to tour the country.  She visited three orphanages and participated in several service projects.  Rose recalls that while traveling, she met so many people younger than herself who had no problems finding these opportunities, picking up their lives and just going and adapting as needed.  Rose would have never thought of traveling so extensively had she not been an AmeriCorps member with Volunteer Maryland.  She recognizes that she wouldn’t have had these opportunities or made so many meaningful connections in so many unexpected places without her experience as a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator.

“My study abroad experience opened opportunities for me to meet people and to understand myself and what I want for my future. “

(Thanks to VM23 Regional Coordinator Corrine Handy for interviewing Rose and writing this story!)

Academic Interest Turns to Passion: How AmeriCorps Works for Michael Nealis

As part of our celebration of AmeriCorps Week, we’re highlighting how AmeriCorps worked for VM alumni.  This is just one of many success stories!

Michael Nealis had an academic interest in volunteerism when he became a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator in Class 21.  A year of service with the Maryland Department of the Environment and another as a Volunteer Maryland Regional Coordinator turned academic interest into passion.  Now the Interactive Strategy Coordinator with the Points of Light Institute, Michael is dedicated to sharing this passion with others, both in his position with the Points of Light Institute and as a regular volunteer with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity.  “I would not have achieved as much as I have if I would not have joined VM,” said Michael.  “It completely changed how I view service and community and put me on a path to having a voice in a national volunteer support organization. I’m a stronger leader and a better person because of my AmeriCorps experience.”

What was Michael thinking when his second year of AmeriCorps service was coming to a close? Read his final blog post here.

A Journey: How AmeriCorps Worked for Rhonda Ulmer

As part of our celebration of AmeriCorps Week, we’re highlighting how AmeriCorps worked for VM alumni.  This is just one of many success stories!

“There are some careers that hope to get you to where you are and then ones that get you where you want to be.”

Planting Seeds

Rhonda clearly remembers when everything started.  Born and raised in Florida, she first heard about AmeriCorps and started the application process to become a member from her home state.

However, after her son fell ill, Rhonda didn’t finish her application.  She instead moved to Maryland so that he could receive medical treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

New Beginnings

After her move, Rhonda received a letter from her children’s school stating that the school was failing.  She was instructed that as a parent, under the No Child Left Behind Act, she had the option to transfer her children to another school.  She thought to herself “That sounds crazy! There has to be something we can do as parents and teachers to solve this problem.”  Rhonda made an appointment with the school’s principal in order to find an answer that very question: what can we do?  The principal was working on a few initiatives with teachers including the creation of a new curriculum that better addressed test performance.  During the meeting the principal emphasized one key component: parent involvement.  The principal then asked Rhonda if she would be interested in taking on a leadership role in a parent involvement initiative.

During this time, Rhonda had enrolled her daughter in a local Head Start program.  Shortly after, Rhonda was approached by staff in the program.  She was such an active and engaged parent that they offered her a position; as an AmeriCorps member through Volunteer Maryland!  Rhonda had been working at the Baltimore/Washington International Airport for Southwest Airlines.  While she was happy with her job, she wanted to go back to school and finish her education.  She looked at her options, and made her choice.

Her family called her crazy for giving up her corporate job and free flight benefits to go serve as an AmeriCorps member.  At the time, Head Start didn’t have a volunteer program.  Rhonda worked to set up a family mentoring program where she recruited volunteers to work with families and assist parents with things like career networking.  What stuck out to Rhonda about Head Start’s mission was the program’s dedication to their title: giving children a head start in life while incorporating a family component.  Head Start not only worked to help children but also to assist whole families in their process.

 “My experience completely changed my whole career from corporate to service. It helped me find my true passion: parent and family education.”

Rhonda says that being an AmeriCorps member with three children was very challenging but rewarding.  Years later, her family–the same family that called her crazy–says that it was the best decision she could have ever made.  She now tells her children that no matter what, they have to serve at least one year when they finish high school or college.

After her AmeriCorps years with Volunteer Maryland, Rhonda continued her work improving parent and family education initiatives.  She found that addressing the issue of parent involvement was a complicated process.  Many times, parents wanted to support their children in school but had no idea how.  Reasons for lack of involvement from parents ranged from language and cultural barriers to parents not feeling academically equipped because they didn’t graduate from high school.  Rhonda was elected PTA president and applied for her first small grant.  The grant stipulated that program participants attend parent leadership classes where parents were taught how to partner with their children’s schools.  She successfully ran the resulting Van Bokkelen’s Family Network whose goal was to help families meet basic needs, so that parents in turn could focus on the academic needs of their children.  The Network used the school as a hub to provide the community with support and resources.

Her children’s school was on the government take over list.  After implementing her ideas, the school began to turn around.  Five years later, the school is a top performer based on state test scores.  Rhonda wanted to duplicate the process for other schools.  Inspired by the success of giving parents tools and resources, Rhonda started University for Parents, a nonprofit committed to supporting parents through family education.

Rhonda recalls that the training and experiences that she had as both a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator and Regional Coordinator provided a very strong foundation and paved the way for her to make a difference in the lives of others.

(Thanks to VM23 Regional Coordinator Corrine Handy for interviewing Rhonda and writing this story!)

Becoming a Teacher: How AmeriCorps Worked for Grace Beverly

As part of our celebration of AmeriCorps Week, we’re highlighting how AmeriCorps worked for VM alumni.  This is just one of many success stories!
Grace Beverly served as a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator in Class 23.  Grace was a recent college graduate with a degree in education who was struggling to find a teaching position.  As a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator, Grace helped to create and manage a High School Assessment tutoring program at Digital Harbor High School in Baltimore.  While helping her students to succeed, Grace gained experience working full-time in a school and interacting with parents, teachers, and students.  Her hard work paid off for everyone: Digital Harbor High School students were better prepared for the High School Assessments; attendance in the Parent Involvement Group increased and; just this January, Grace started teaching full-time at Hilltop Elementary School in Glen Burnie, where nearly 60 percent of the students live are eligible for free or reduced lunch.

A Growth Experience: How AmeriCorps Worked for Kimberly Rice

As part of our celebration of AmeriCorps Week, we’re highlighting how AmeriCorps worked for VM alumni.  This is just one of many success stories!

“I would say that one of the things I learned from this year was to appreciate the successes that you do have.”

Seeking service from the start

Originally from Connecticut, Kimberly grew up in a very small, historic town named Old Lyme.  She recalls that the town was so small that there were no chain restaurants; it had only one high school for her town and the neighboring town, and no real diversity.

“My family was good about instilling values like helping others in need and not overextending one’s lifestyle beyond your means: taking only what you need.  They taught me an appreciation of all people regardless of their background.”

In high school, Kimberly participated in a mission trip to Ecuador where she had an opportunity to work firsthand with impoverished communities.  In Ecuador she turned the ideas instilled in her by her family into action.  The experience stuck with her and later influenced her decision to work in the nonprofit sector.

After college, Kimberly traveled to Taiwan for one year.  Upon her return, she chose to look for jobs that allowed her to serve human needs.  Kimberly first heard about Volunteer Maryland online.  She liked the philosophy of AmeriCorps programs in general, and was drawn to the Baltimore/DC Metro area because of the abundance of nonprofit organizations.

Kimberly ended up being placed at an organization called the Citizenship Law-Related Education Program (CLREP), an organization that facilitates law-related education for teenaged youth.  Her role was to recruit and manage volunteers for the Baltimore City Teen Court (BCTC).  She was charged with training both youth volunteers and respondents on how to be members of the BCTC jury, how the court room works, and how to conduct oneself in a court room.  Kimberly was excited about this placement because of the type of program that BCTC provided; it allowed her to work with inner city youth in underserved communities.

Kimberly strikes an AmeriPose with Laura Aceituno

Lessons From Disappointment

Throughout most of her life, whenever there was a difficulty, she was confident that if she worked hard enough, she would eventually succeed.  This was not the case during her year as a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator.  One of the biggest challenges was coming to terms with the fact that she wasn’t going to solve the problem of social inequality overnight, all by herself.  “The hardest part for me was having my ideas fall short over and over and coming to a point and saying: what else can I do?”

Kimberly had to shift her thinking from: “what can I do to ‘save’ these kids to what can I leave for this organization that will help them beyond my service year?”

Finding a Calling

Kimberly went through a lot of soul searching during her AmeriCorps year.  This time allowed her to do some exploring to see what her strengths and weaknesses were, and to actually think about what kind of work that she liked to do.  One specific event that shaped her future endeavors was a field trip she took with a group of BCTC youth to the University of Maryland Medical Center Shock Trauma Unit.  This unit sees many victims of street violence, violence that affected several of the BCTC members that CLREP served.  During their trip, the youth heard from different healthcare providers about the different job opportunities in healthcare and what they needed to do to get those jobs (i.e. graduate high school, go to college, etc.).  They had an opportunity to discuss the environments where they lived and what actually goes on in the streets of their neighborhoods.

The youth also had an opportunity to see the ways in which violence changes lives.  This is the reality of the Shock Trauma Unit: some make it and some don’t.  They were shown the consequences of what one lives with as a result of street violence: paralysis, scars, and permanent damage.  The tour had an impact on one BCTC member in particular.  Jessy* had a history of argumentative and aggressive behavior.  She needed a lot of guidance at first, but had slowly warmed up to the BCTC staff, volunteers, and other teens, to become a regular participant.  During this trip, however, Kimberly noticed that Jessy wasn’t participating in the activities of the tour.  Kimberly asked how she was doing.  Jessy responded with,  “I hate hospitals because that’s where people go to die.”  Hearing Jessy’s statement made Kimberly think about this issue in a completely different way.  She realized that for Jessy and others in their program, the hospital was a place primarily associated with death.  For them, the hospital was not a place where lives were saved; it was a place where friends and family members died as a result of gunshot wounds or stabbings.  This young girl had unintentionally summed up inequalities of society in one sentence.  Kimberly realized that maybe she had found a field where she could combat those inequalities more effectively.

Kimberly’s experiences interacting with youth at CLREP as a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator contributed to and influenced her decision to go back to school.  Her service as an AmeriCorps member with Volunteer Maryland put her in the position to meet and connect with the youth at CLREP.  She is now currently enrolled as a student in the University of Maryland School of Nursing and remains involved with Volunteer Maryland as the Administrative Associate.

*Name changed for privacy reasons

After her year as a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator, Kimberly was VM’s Program Associate and one of our first bloggers.  Back when she wrote this post, she didn’t know we’d call her back for yet another role!

(Thanks to VM23 Regional Coordinator Corrine Handy for interviewing Kimberly and writing this story!)