I Have The Heart of A Teacher – #AmeriCorpsWorks

By Renee Irwin I graduated from IUP with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Writing. I had huge plans. I was going to make a name for myself at a local newspaper and write for online magazines. I started applying for jobs right away, only to discover that nobody wanted to hire me. I had no experience, and to my surprise, nobody wanted to give me any experience to put onto a resume. I was stuck. I … [Read more...]

Matt Heselton-One In a Million

AmeriCorps National Service Celebrates the one millionth service member this month. One of those first million members is Matthew Heselton. #1of1million. Matt  served with the Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps AmeriCorps 2011-2013.  We caught up with Matt this summer at an AmeriCorps year end celebration event at Outdoor Odyssey, where he served. Matt, now a third year medical student, was … [Read more...]

Special Initiatives Broaden Service Reach – #AmeriCorpsWorks

Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps AmeriCorps Members serve at one of 75 host sites throughout 16 counties in the PA Alleghenies. Members also support regional community projects. The Special Olympics is one such community project supported by PMSC AmeriCorps. Hundreds of athletes, coaches, family, friends and volunteers descended upon Seven Springs Ski Resort in Southwest Pennsylvania, … [Read more...]

Healing Arts Supports Recovery – #AmeriCorps Works

As an AmeriCorps member serving at BOTTLE WORKS, I have the opportunity to coordinate Healing Arts programming  for certain in-need audiences. At Peniel Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center, we offer both Creative Writing and Photography for residents who are in the last phases within their recovery process. During the Creative Writing workshop, we have been able to reach this population … [Read more...]

“You Helped Me Read” – #AmeriCorpsWorks

Johnny, a 3rd grade student I tutor for reading, ran up to me one morning to tell me he read a book all by himself.  It was the first time he was ever able to do it.  He looked at me and said, "I can read, because you helped me." It's a very simple story, but knowing how much Johnny struggles can give some perspective; Johnny is in third grade, but when he was assessed at the beginning of the … [Read more...]

I Love Going to Serve Every Day

"I love going to serve everyday and know that I am there to help make a difference in someone's life. I am there to help share in a student's education and be a very influential part in their thoughts about school, especially math. I get to share in their academic ventures but also get to know the students and understand each of their backgrounds. Most of the students I work with have just come … [Read more...]

Hard Work = Student Success

"After many struggling days with a student that was being defiant I was ready to give up. With the help of his teacher, we developed a reward system for working hard and getting his work done in my class but nothing was helping. The student would be on target one day and bouncing off the walls and refusing to do his work the next. You never knew what you were going to get when the student walked … [Read more...]

AmeriCorps Impact Reflection

It's hard to say where or when I have made a profound impact on one of my children at school, but I know that for me I have had many cases where I wonder what kind of impact I am making. One year is such a short amount of time and I am not even sure the children will remember me when I am gone. They live in the here and now. I think the kids make a bigger impact on me. They teach me things about … [Read more...]

Making a Difference to Homeless

There was a homeless individual that had been coming to the center daily to eat and drink coffee. He had no clothes. He really had nothing but the clothes on his back. He didn't talk much and was not up to par with his hygiene, Although the outside wasn't pleasant to look at, he always was polite. I started to talk to him and found out he had a daughter that made him sleep on the porch. I took him … [Read more...]

Serving Wounded Veterans

Having just finished a powerful week at Outdoor Odyssey serving wounded veterans in what is known as our Semper Fi Odyssey program, I feel very blessed to serve at a site that seeks to help those who have sacrificed almost everything but their lives for our freedom. Thirty-eight veterans who were sent back to the States after suffering various injuries came to Outdoor Odyssey to partake in a … [Read more...]