The Appalachian Center for Community Service hosted an Emory & Henry College lyceum, “Experience that Counts: Life after Emory & Henry” on Feb. 1 to discuss post-collegiate, long-term service opportunities.
Representatives from AmeriCorps, Appalachian Service Project, Christian Appalachian Project, Peace Corps and Teach for America made presentations to the students, who learned from the five organizations about work and service opportunities after graduation.
To begin the event, students read aloud descriptions of the organizations and short biographies of former volunteers in these organizations. Some of these volunteers included Netflix founder Reed Hastings and Chris Matthews from “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on MSNBC.
Amanda Compton and Cassie Stultz, represented AmeriCorps, a U.S. federal government program that was created during President Bill Clinton’s administration in 1993. Compton and Stultz work at Occupational Enterprises, Inc., a nonprofit organization in Southwest Virginia which utilizes AmeriCorps to compensate long-term volunteers.
Ben Martin from Appalachian Service Project (ASP) shared that the organization recently obtained a Lily Fellowship to hire fellows to participate in paid community service positions. ASP provides housing rehabilitation to low-income households in West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky.
A former Peace Corps volunteer, Jane-Erie Shrestha who served two years in Nepal, presented details of her international experiences. She emphasized the personal toll from seeing the grim realities that can occur in community service. Shrestha also commented on the positive aspects in embracing different cultures. She also met her husband while in Nepal. The Peace Corps is a U.S. agency that provides volunteers to assist in countries worldwide.
Christian Appalachian Project (CAP), based in Kentucky, offers several opportunities for service, including housing rehabilitation, substance abuse programs and disaster relief. E&H’s Bonner Coordinator Shannon Hoffman was a long-term CAP volunteer in West Virginia.
Teach for America’s Nichole Prickett spoke about her personal teaching experiences. Prickett taught for three years in Atlanta as a Teach for America participant. Teach for America volunteers serve as teachers and assume other leadership roles in an effort to change the lives of their students by eliminating educational inequalities.
Students were invited to ask questions of representatives of the organizations. Applications were available to students interested in participating in any of the programs.
For more information about these and other opportunities after graduation, contact the Appalachian Center for Community Service at (276) 944-6817.