What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps is similar to the Peace Corps, but AmeriCorps members are placed in communities in the United States instead of going to other countries. Programs include AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps NCCC, AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps Seniors, the Volunteer Generation Fund, and other national service initiatives.
Locally, the DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps program has been placing AmeriCorps members in schools and other organizations in our region for over 25 years. DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps members sign up to serve as stipended volunteers in schools and youth-serving agencies for 10-months, starting in the fall. They have a variety of roles that include building relationships with young people, and helping young people to develop skills, connections, and confidence. Each member receives training, support, and a stipend during their year of service.
DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps is still recruiting members for this 2022-2023 service term in both their Motivational Interviewing Corps & their new Restorative Relationships Justice Corps! Get in touch with Lani Ortiz to learn more.
Meet some of this year’s new, local AmeriCorps members!
When you go to a local community agency and meet the staff there, you may get to know someone who is an AmeriCorps member. Check out these quick profiles of several new AmeriCorps members in the area to learn about some of the awesome folks you may encounter.
Many thanks to Lani Ortiz at DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps and all the members who sent us introductions!
Debbie G. (she/her)
Youth and Family Engagement Specialist
Partnership for Youth at the FRCOG
Debbie is excited to serve the community by connecting with youth and parents, doing outreach at community events, connecting community members with local resources, and continuing to work with the PEER Ambassadors.
Debbie calls herself the Polarican Phoenix and brings a wide variety of lived experience to her role. She is already a go-to person for many young people she knows, and she looks forward to sharing resources with many more people in the community as Youth and Family Engagement Specialist! Contact Debbie by email.
Eamon R. (he/him)
Youth Programs Coordinator
The Brick House Community Resource Center
Eamon has been working with youth for the past several years, since his start as a camp counselor. He is excited to encourage youth to build on their creative and life skills and to implement movement into their everyday lives through mentorship, positive youth development, and program creation. Eamon is a resident of Franklin County and is looking forward to connecting with the community of Turners Falls. Contact Eamon by email.
John C. (he/him)
AmeriCorps Parent/Family & Youth Programs Coordinator
The Brick House Community Resource Center
After graduating from UMass Amherst in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a certificate in social work/social welfare, John has been committed to providing a positive impact on youth and their families. During his service term he hopes to build strong connections with the community and continue to learn in the process.
John is co-facilitating parent and family programs while also serving as a mentor in supporting youth with overall needs. His service includes creating weekly activities to provide our youth with academic, social, and emotional support. Contact John by email.
Kaspar H. (he/him)
Youth & Community Engagement Coordinator
Kaspar is a queer, trans, and neurodivergent artist originally from Westchester NY, but now residing in Western MA! He says he knows what it’s like to not be fully supported or seen in the academic sense, as well as the individual sense. He recognizes that everyone has autonomy and can make decisions for themselves, even from a young age.
Kaspar notes “My role is one of support, acceptance, and recognizing you for who you are, not the role other people place you in.” Contact Kaspar by email, phone/text at (413) 247-4592, or Instagram or TikTok at @president.gay
Olivia N. (she/they)
AmeriCorps Staff Member
North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens
Olivia is serving at North Star learning center in Sunderland, and is really excited to teach classes on subjects such as Neurodiversity, Film Analysis, and Band Instruction, as well as offering individual one on one instrument instruction at an institution that values alternative learning, at each person’s own speed.
Olivia loves to quote the movie Moonrise Kingdom – “What kind of bird are you?” is a favorite line that provides inspiration for “trying to figure out what kind of bird I am, or more accurately who I want to be in the world.” Contact Olivia by email.