AmeriCorps Members Prepare to Make Powerful Impact

September 3, 2015

There are lots of reasons Candice Powers is excited about her upcoming year of service with the YWCA Central Alabama’s “Building Communities, Bettering Lives” AmeriCorps program. One of the best, though, is that she’ll have the opportunity to mentor young girls.

Candice is among the 40 AmeriCorps members who will serve at the YWCA or one of its 16 nonprofit partner agencies during the 2015-16 term. Candice, who will spend her year at Girls on the Run, can’t wait to start making a difference.

“I personally feel as if helping people is the most valuable thing you can do in your life,” Candice said. “I’ve been extremely blessed to have a supportive family with good values and morals. I want to work with and reach people who don’t have those examples.”

AmeriCorps, a national service initiative, is similar to the Peace Corps, but members commit to at least one year of service nationally, rather than internationally. Since its inception, more than 900,000 AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1 billion hours of service to their country.

The YW’s members, who participated in four days of training this week, will make a huge impact locally. Last year, the YWCA’s AmeriCorps members served more than 53,000 hours, benefitting the Birmingham-metro area and Shelby, St. Clair and Blount counties.

The members will participate in the National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11, and they will head to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, where they will package and prepare food for food insecure families and individuals in the area.

“Having the opportunity to work directly with people in need is really speaking out to me,” said Walter Nolen-Schmidt, who will serve at One Roof. Although he holds a degree music and community studies, he is considering returning to school to pursue a degree in social work. “This seems like a great opportunity to immerse myself in this field to see if that’s what I want to do,” he said.

Other partner agencies are Alabama Environmental Council, Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers, Food Bank of Central Alabama,Freshwater Land Trust, Heart Gallery of Alabama, Magic City Agriculture Project, The Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement, Norwood Resource Center, Pathways, Railroad Park, Safehouse of Shelby County, Woodlawn Foundation, YMCA Northeast Branch and YouthServe.

A few positions remain, so if you are interested in becoming an AmeriCorps member, please contact Angela Moore at

 If you would like to become involved with the YW or support our programs, click here.