AmeriCorps Service Provides Life Focus

July 7, 2017

As one of YWCA Central Alabama’s AmeriCorps members, Kenyata Tate knew she would be able to make a difference in the lives of those she served, but she had no idea the impact her two years of service would have on her own life.

After trying a number of different career paths, the 34-year-old mother of three realized that while she’d had success, she wasn’t fulfilled. Now equipped with an AmeriCorps education award and a newfound sense of direction, Tate is returning to school to pursue a degree in social work.

“My two years with AmeriCorps provided the perfect opportunity to make sure that this is what I really wanted to do with my life,” she said. “It solidified everything for me and I know what I should be doing going forward.”

The YWCA is recruiting 40 members for its “Building Communities, Bettering Lives” AmeriCorps program, a partnership with Serve Alabama and the Corporation of National and Community Service.  A national service initiative,  AmeriCorps is similar to the Peace Corps but is for those wanting to serve nationally rather than internationally. Last year, YWCA AmeriCorps members contributed more than 65,000 hours of service, benefiting the metro-Birmingham area, and Shelby, Blount and St. Clair Counties.

Tate served both years at the YWCA’s Family Resource Center in Woodlawn. During her tenure, she organized the CREW (Creating Responsible, Educated, Working teens) program, which provides valuable work experience for high school students  in the Woodlawn community and allows them to participate in personal and professional development activities. She has also helped coordinate a family reading program and after-school arts programs for children in the community.

“I really enjoyed working with the kids and it has helped put everything in perspective,” Tate said. “I had reached a point in my life where I felt like it was important to make a difference. I have grown in a lot of different ways, and I definitely feel like AmeriCorps has set me up to be successful.”

The service year begins in September and ends in August 2018. AmeriCorps positions are available with the YW and its partner agencies. Members receive a monthly stipend, an educational award upon completion of the program, health insurance for members and a child care allowance for qualifying members.

To apply for the YWCA’s “Building Communities, Bettering Lives” AmeriCorps program, please submit a resume and cover letter to Angela Abdur-Rasheed at americorps@ywcabham.org and click here to start the process.

To get involved with the YWCA or to support our programs, click here.