AmeriCorps a great opportunity

Within a single year, I have lived in three different states. Each state comes with new places, new people and new experiences that have helped me to learn and grow. I now make my home in state No. 4, West Virginia, as an AmeriCorps member.

As I move into my second year of service in Elkins, it has officially become the longest amount of time I have lived in one place following my college graduation. My decision to stay for “round two” is simple: I have more things to get done (que AmeriCorps pledge). It’s another state, and another experience; so far, it’s been a great one!

As an Appalachian Forest Heritage Area AmeriCorps member, I serve at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service West Virginia Field Office (WVFO) in Elkins. While at the WVFO, I am pursuing one of my greatest life passions: Connecting people to the environment through education.

To do this, I coordinate public education events and programs in local schools and with community groups. This year alone, I am in the midst of coordinating events such as a two-day Bat Week celebration event, an Endangered Species Day celebration and an International Migratory Bird Day. Believe it or not, that’s just the tip of the iceberg – I have several more tasks I intend to complete before the end of my service. Sleep is for the weak, right?

Sometimes I feel like I should come with a warning label, because I’m not entirely sure my supervisors knew what they were getting into when they accepted me as an AmeriCorps member. However, I promise there is a method to my madness. The reason I work so hard is because I firmly believe in the work that happens every single day at the WVFO. Every day I am surrounded by hard-working professionals, who consistently strive to make West Virginia, and the world, a better place. I constantly use them as an inspiration in my service.

I could talk endlessly about how amazing my AmeriCorps service has been. Here, I can pursue my life passion and harness those passions to make a difference, promoting environmental stewardship and inspiring youth in conservation. At the same time, I have received countless opportunities and endless support for my future career. It makes my AmeriCorps service a great accomplishment and something I will always carry with me.