AmeriCorps Spotlight – Alana

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 Alana who serves in Traverse City.

What were you doing before you joined the AmeriCorps program?

I was a student at Grand Valley State University, where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies & Social Impact. I also minored in Nonprofit Administration.

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

The location! I was not looking to move to a completely new city during a pandemic. Traverse City is my hometown, so it was very convenient that the program has an office here. I like that I am getting to know my hometown from a different angle.

I had no idea Red Cross was so big and did so many things. My boss told me I would get experience working with volunteers and area nonprofits, which I knew would build on things I had learned in my nonprofit administration courses. Most importantly, the conversation made me feel like I could pursue my professional interests within the organization.

What duties/responsibilities do you perform for your chapter?

I perform outreach for our children’s preparedness programs. Recently, I have started doing recovery casework, which involves contacting people who have been through a disaster and assisting their recovery process. Those are the main things I’m doing right now, but there will most definitely be more to come as I go through my service!

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

One thing that is unique to AmeriCorps is our days of service. That is one of my favorite things so far. On days of service, AmeriCorps volunteers with local nonprofits in the area. It’s great to make connections with other organizations in the community and swap stories with them.

Another favorite of mine is when I get to deliver good news to my casework clients. It makes me happy that I am making them happy when they are in a bad situation.

What has been a challenge for you this term?

The Red Cross has so many acronyms! Sometimes someone says something to me, or I get an email and it doesn’t even make sense because it is just a long string of acronyms. However, I know I will get more familiar as time goes by.

What advice would you give someone joining the program?

If you are just joining or considering joining, I would ask if you can talk to a past or current AmeriCorps in the position. Don’t be scared of the virtual environment! It’s a very innovative time, and now I have developed a virtual skillset I didn’t have before. Research your location beforehand! It can be really difficult to find housing in some of these places, especially on an AmeriCorps stipend. This is another reason to talk to past or current AmeriCorps and also connect with your program manager. Finally, be prepared to explain AmeriCorps/Red Cross/Together We Prepare program to everyone!

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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