AmeriCorps Week is Here!

AmeriCorps was created as an opportunity to give back to communities and the country through civic-minded activities and national service. Every year, 270,000 Americans step up and answer the call to serve others in need. These outstanding individuals work directly with nonprofits for a 12-month service year in locations across the United States. AmeriCorps volunteers have supported relief efforts through many crises including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and now the Covid-19 pandemic.

United Way of Larimer County (UWLC) began its relationship with AmeriCorps in 2009 and hosted multiple VISTA members to address disaster preparedness, 211, and poverty alleviation programming. From 2010-2013, UWLC also designed and operated an AmeriCorps program that deployed around 10-15 full-time members annually out to local human service agencies to assist with volunteer coordination, addressing poverty, at those partner agencies. That program then evolved into the Colorado Reading Corps in 2014 to align with the UW literacy priorities and focus.

Beginning in 2014, UWLC utilized AmeriCorps members to provide early intervention literacy strategies and one-on-one tutoring to kindergarten through third-grade students in Larimer County. Nearly 800 students are served each year with more and 70% of students showing academic progress. UWLC still proudly supports ReadingCorps to this day.

In 2020 UWLC became an AmeriCorps VISTA host site, receiving 2 full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members each year to assist in capacity building services. VISTA members have supported UWLC in a variety of roles, including corporate campaigns, grant reports, and volunteer engagement in the community.

Meet our AmeriCorps VISTA Members!

Jason Proctor

What is your current role & responsibilities with UWLC?

JP: I am the AmeriCorps Volunteer Engagement VISTA member here at United Way of Larimer County. I serve in a capacity-building role by expanding volunteer programming and overseeing our online volunteer platform.

Why did you apply for AmeriCorps?

JP: I applied to AmeriCorps because I wanted to have a meaningful and engaging gap year that was different than anything I have done before.

What have you learned throughout your AmeriCorps Experience?

JP: Through AmeriCorps, I learned of the importance of community-wide and local efforts in the prevention of poverty. Local community members and nonprofits are fine-tuned to the intricacies and structural issues within their communities, and as a result are better equipped to tackle these local issues.

Anything you’d like to share with the community about AmeriCorps?

AmeriCorps have been an amazing and often difficult experience that has shown me a glimpse of what the nonprofit world can do and the importance they play in community affairs.

Sarah Raskin

What is your current role & responsibilities with UWLC?

SR: I am the AmeriCorps Corporate and Community Engagement VISTA. I work with businesses in Larimer County to promote philanthropy, volunteerism, and Corporate Social Responsibility among other tasks involving community building.

Why did you apply for AmeriCorps?

SR: I applied for AmeriCorps to gain more experience in a nonprofit environment and to learn more about the operations of a nonprofit. AmeriCorps is a great option for recent college grads who are unsure what they would like to do next and want something great on their resume.

What have you learned throughout your AmeriCorps Experience?

SR: I have learned to keep an open mind and to always be willing to help out, even if that means pushing some less-pressing tasks to the side. Also, capitalize on any opportunity that’s presented to you as you may find out what you’re extremely passionate about! AmeriCorps is all about learning and professional development while also helping nonprofits build their capacity. 

Anything you’d like to share with the community about AmeriCorps?

SR: If you’re passionate about public service and think you might be interested in nonprofit or government work, AmeriCorps is a great option no matter your age or experience.

Meet a Former AmeriCorps member!

Sarah Bromley

What is your current role & responsibilities with UWLC?

SB: I’m the Director of HR and Shared Services at United Way of Larimer County. I provide strategic and business leadership in building and leading United Way’s Shared Services program, and oversees the organizations’ human resource responsibilities and activities.

Why did you apply for AmeriCorps?

SB: After I graduated college, I was looking for opportunities to get out in nature and expand my leadership skills. I started my AmeriCorps journey with Nevada Conservation Corps. I participated in environmental service projects such as thinning forests to reduce fire fuels and building trails. 

What have you learned throughout your AmeriCorps Experience?

SB: I worked and served with 6 AmeriCorps programs throughout the United States. During this time, I learned that nothing is too hard and that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. 

Anything you’d like to share with the community about AmeriCorps?

SB: I loved my AmeriCorps adventures, the comradery, and serving my community. If you or someone you know recently graduated college, has recently retired or is looking for a career transition, I highly recommend looking into AmeriCorps opportunities!

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