What AmeriCorps Means to Me

by Olivia Hunt

Olivia

AmeriCorps was feeling nervous on that first day, still not sure of what was in store.
AmeriCorps was making connections to a community like I had never done before.
This meant seeing the best, the worst, and everything in between.
AmeriCorps was feeling frustrated and exhausted until you walked into a room and heard 30 kids yell “Miss Olivia!!!” at the same time.

AmeriCorps was celebrating when an event went well, and sitting at home eating ice cream when no one showed up.

AmeriCorps was telling kids something small about myself only for them to ask me about it a few weeks later and realizing how much they looked up to me.

AmeriCorps was a roller coaster of new things, new people, and learning so much about myself.

AmeriCorps was listening to a kid tell me about the volcanoes on Mars for 30 straight minutes and wondering which was happening more: was I teaching them or were they teaching me?

AmeriCorps was loving, learning, laughing, and memories I will never forget.
AmeriCorps was rewarding, and terrible, and awesome.

AmeriCorps was 60 hour weeks full of planning, moving stuff, setting up, an working until 11 pm to clean up an event that only lasted an hour and a half.
AmeriCorps was coming in the next Monday to find emails and notes about how well the event went and how much everyone enjoyed it.
AmeriCorps means I don’t regret the student loans for my Master’s Degree. Plus, in the future, when my kids complain, I can tell them I lived on less than $1000 per month and still paid my rent and all my bills on time.

AmeriCorps means a connection with all other AmeriCorps alumni. And connections to jobs in the future.
AmeriCorps was an experience unlike any other that truly prepared me for my future career.

AmeriCorps was strangers that became friends,
a community center that became my home,
kids that became my inspiration,
and an experience that changed my life for the better.