MacKenzie Bellimam Uses Americorps Experience to Launch Career

Posted by Monica Hoel
Speaking with MacKenzie Bellimam might make you think she’s been working on issues of storm water management for a long full career. But she only graduated in December of 2019.

Speaking with MacKenzie Bellimam might make you think she’s been working on issues of storm water management for a long full career. But she only graduated in December of 2019.

MacKenzie did all the things right for getting a jump start on her professional life. While still a student she did two internships in Abingdon, at the Department of Water Quality (DEQ) and with the Upper Tennessee River Round Table (UTRR). Just after finishing her degree, and just before COVID-19, she interviewed with AmeriCorps.

So when the pandemic hit, she was already positioned to get started with her career, even though it had to be a little different than she imagined. She was assigned to a project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Her role is “stormwater technician” and she is required to do water quality inspections and help locate and stop stormwater pollution. Education outreach, to adults and students, also places a huge role in her position, but those opportunities have been moved online. She laughs that she is still doing some “normal” things, like painting a float for the local Christmas parade, but there isn’t as much interpersonal collaboration on these projects at the moment.

Her contract with AmeriCorps is for 10 months and she is adding a lot of experiences to her resume. She has gotten to work with and learn from teams that are connected to the famous property in Oak Ridge where the Manhattan Project came to life in the 1930s and 1940s. And she is ready to build on this experience in her next steps as an E&H environmental studies major making a difference in the world. “AmeriCorps provided a sense of job security that I had never imagined it would, especially during COVID.”

  • MacKenzie Bellimam
    Emory & Henry Class of 2019

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1903-liberty-sheppard-life-is-never-going-to-go-like"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.jpg" alt=" Liberty Sheppard Emory & Henry Class of 2020 " width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1440" data-max-h="1440" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1903-liberty-sheppard-life-is-never-going-to-go-like">Liberty Sheppard: Life is never going to go like you planned – so find the joy and adapt</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> What happens when a pandemic changes all your plans?<br/>You succeed. <a href="/live/news/1903-liberty-sheppard-life-is-never-going-to-go-like" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>