AmeriCorps Members Serve Community, Jump-Start Career

September 8, 2017

Herb Jackson was looking for ways to follow his passion and give back to his community when he joined YWCA Central Alabama's "Building Communities, Bettering Lives" AmeriCorps program a few years ago.  Turns out, he found a new career.

The 53-year-old veteran is one of 50 AmeriCorps members whose service commitment has turned into full-time employment at the YW or one of its partner agencies since the program began in 2009. After serving for a year at Workshops, Inc., a job training organization for people with disabilities, Jackson was hired as the agency’s community relations coordinator.

“The AmeriCorps program has proven to be a great tool to shape skill sets and cultivate interests,” said Angela Abdur-Rasheed, director of the YW’s program. “The growth members experience often allows alums to be prime candidates for careers that utilize their passions.”

A new group of members started the journey when the YW recently welcomed the 2017-18 class.  A national service initiative, AmeriCorps is similar to the Peace Corps and is for those wanting to serve nationally rather than internationally. Last year, local YWCA AmeriCorps members served more than 65,000 hours, benefiting the metro-Birmingham area, Shelby, Blount and St. Clair counties.

The new members will serve in areas including volunteer engagement, social justice, domestic violence services, homelessness prevention, civic and environmental engagement, education, and empowerment.

In addition to YWCA programs, members will serve with:  AlaQuest Collaborative for Education, Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program, Children’s Aid Society, Collaborative Solutions, Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, Freshwater Land Trust, Girls Inc., Heart Gallery of Alabama, Junior Achievement, Mothers’ Milk Bank, One Roof, Railroad Park Foundation, Safehouse, Urban Ministry, Woodlawn Foundation, YMCA Northeast Branch and YouthServe.

The AmeriCorps program is offered in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Volunteer Services and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

AmeriCorps positions remain for the 2017-18 term. For information and details on how to apply, click here or contact Angela Abdur-Rasheed at 205.322.9922 ext. 206 or americorps@ywcabham.org.

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