AmeriCorps Spotlight – Kenneth

The AmeriCorps “Together We Prepare” program is looking for new members! The Together We Prepare AmeriCorps program, administered by the American Red Cross, utilizes AmeriCorps members to improve the capacity of communities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters in locations across Michigan.

Today’s AmeriCorps spotlight is on Kenneth who serves in Flint.

What were you doing before you joined the AmeriCorps?

I was working as a contract administrator for the State of Michigan Homeless Youth and Runaway. A statewide program for children without a place to live. My role was to create safe, stable, and affordable housing with allocated funds of 7.6 million dollars and developing contracted agencies to provide sheltering services for 63 counties of the State of Michigan. 

What made you want to join the “Together We Prepare” program with the Red Cross?

After 43 years of state service, I decided to retire and return to my home base community of Flint to give back from what I received. I understood poverty as I was living in it myself from a single-parent household to an educated adult. The Flint community prepared me for my role as a Community School Director. I learned at an early age how to help others even as I was struggling myself, I was able to reach out to resources in the community and developed lifelong connections.

What duties/responsibilities do you perform for your chapter?

I provide emergency and disaster preparedness to children through the Prepare with Pedro and Pillowcase Project. Additionally, I help youth, families, and adults through our Be Red Cross Ready program to educate residents on how to prepare for a local or national disaster in their home or community. I create partnerships within the community to assist in the Sound the Alarm Campaign where smoke alarms are provided to the community free of charge to aid in the safety of those in need. I also respond to local disasters as a member of the Disaster Action Team.

What is your favorite thing you do as an AmeriCorps member?

Provide disaster preparedness presentations to children, youth, families, and adults. I also enjoy meeting new people and creating partnerships in the community.

What advice would you give someone who is joining the program?

AmeriCorps is not a job. It is a national service opportunity with a lifetime of rewards. Be flexible, creative, and dedicated to the program.

If you’re interested in joining the AmeriCorps Together We Prepare program contact Program Director: Eilis Gambill Phone: (810) 358-4357 Email: eilis.gambill@redcross.org  

Or apply at the links below.

Ann Arbor: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do;jsessionid=RDLzN-ch0P_Mb3iR1pNPUYqboev4NKpEUliWzOafF2O1fg1PQR04!126839335?id=81725&fromSearch=true

Detroit: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=91632

Traverse City: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=81729

Kalamazoo: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=81727

Grand Rapids: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=81723

Lansing: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=6757

Flint: no openings

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