Why were you interested in joining our AmeriCorps program at AHS?
I had worked at another organization before and we referred quite a few clients to AHS before with really great results. Joining the AHS AmeriCorps program was a great way to get into an organization I knew was doing good work while also providing the opportunity for personal and professional growth.
What motivates you as the Employment Coach?
When a client comes into the office or calls me to report employment, especially clients with whom I’ve been working a long time, it’s the greatest motivation. Knowing that both the client and I put all our efforts into writing a resume, identifying realistic, exciting job opportunities, and practicing for the interview, all to see it come to fruition is incredibly encouraging for both of us.
If you could describe your AmeriCorps experience so far in one word or phrase, what would it be?
What do you hope to give to the clients you serve?
Confidence. More important than a resume or interviewing skills or a cover letter, I hope that clients leave my desk with a re-established confidence and the belief that they can secure and maintain a job.
What impact do the clients you serve have on you?
My clients remind me, every day, the importance of asking for help. I often get so inside my head and caught up in the belief that I can do everything on my own but, my clients show me that, sometimes, our greatest strength is setting aside pride and simply asking for help. Working together toward a shared goal will always carry us farther than we can go alone.
What are you most proud of so far in your service year?
I’m most proud of the number of clients I’ve been able to work with that have secured full-time employment. We’ve worked hard together and, honestly, they’ve done most of the work, but, it’s been a joy to be on the journey with them.
Where would you most like to travel to? Antarctica is the top of my bucket list so that I can finally say I’ve been to all seven continents. It’s been a family goal since I was about 8 years old but, I need to make it happen before I die.
What is your favorite holiday and why? Definitely, Thanksgiving. Coming together with all my family with no pressure or expectation of gifts but, instead, just an expression of gratitude is the greatest, most refreshing part of my year. Also, Thanksgiving has the best food.
If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? Not as much as skill but more of a super power, but I wish I could automatically speak the native language of whoever is standing in front of me. Traveling in Vietnam? Boom, I can speak Vietnamese. Found my way to Brazil? Boom, Portuguese. It’d be so convenient.
Founded in 1978, AHS is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping people become healthy, educated and employed. We serve all who seek our help, with special expertise in the challenges facing refugees, immigrants and other underserved communities in the greater Chicago area.
INFO: (773) 293-8430 / CRISIS: (773) 293-8488
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