AmeriCorps Week 2019
It's National AmeriCorps Week! We appreciate all of our AmeriCorps members and their commitment to young people in the heart of Knoxville. Read some of their stories below, and check out our career page to see how you can be part of the program.
“I have learned a lot about myself through AmeriCorps. The kids have their ups and downs, and it's all about finding a balance. I'm learning that they all need different things, and I have to adjust myself to provide that. This has been a life-changing experience, because it's not easy, but it is so rewarding!”
Lonsdale JustLead Ministry
When I first decided to serve in AmeriCorps with Emerald Youth, I wasn't totally sure what to expect. But now, I wouldn't change it at all, even when I face challenging circumstances.
Being with the kids and showing them love is an amazing thing.
I feel like I'm doing a true service to my community by serving in AmeriCorps through Emerald's JustLead Ministry. I'm showing kids that there is a better way, and they don't have to be stuck on a certain path.
Everyday is different and has its own sets of joys and difficulties because I work with kids. When one of the children comes up to me and gives me a hug for no reason, that defintely makes a day easier!
“Emerald Youth has changed my life by allowing me to become more in touch with a local community that is similar to the Memphis neighborhood I grew up in. I now have an opportunity to be a role model, like I had, for boys in the Knoxville community.”
JustLead Ministry at Mount Zion Baptist Church
I serve in AmeriCorps with Emerald Youth because of the visible impact that this organization makes on the city of Knoxville. It is a joy to be a part of that.
Through AmeriCorps with Emerald Youth, I’m building good work habits, relationships and gaining an appreciation for the greater community that we live in.
One of the challenges can be connecting with children who I may seem to have nothing in common. However, I try to spark meaningful conversations and make them feel welcomed.
The best part of this work is reaching out to the young men who reach out to me or remind me of a young me! I can identify with them on many levels - whether it be the love for football or having divorced parents, and I love being able to share a bit of myself to help them in these situations.
“I am currently serving as an AmeriCorps member at my home church, Woodlawn Christian Church in South Knoxville. When I found out that Woodlawn would be begin a JustLead Ministry, I was very excited. At the time I didn’t know about AmeriCorps positions, but I had already decided that I wanted to be involved. I truly believe that God set up this opportunity for me. It is such a blessing that I could be involved with AmeriCorps and earn a scholarship to help me afford my senior year of school.”
Madi Poindexter, AmeriCorps Member
JustLead Ministry at Woodlawn Christian Church
In my AmeriCorps position, I have been able to have create and implement curriculum for the enrichment segment of JustLead, as well as help develop the daily procedures. I look forward to seeing the kids each time. I been able to watch them grow in so many ways and speak into their lives.
While JustLead at Woodlawn is still a fairly small group of kids, but we've been able to develop real relationships and have one on one time almost each day we're in program. This is something that I have loved so much about JustLead – we are already making a real difference in their lives.
One of the joys of AmeriCorps service is that I am able to serve by doing something I would have done anyway and truly love – serving middle and high school students.
Emerald Youth has become a major player in a journey that I believe God has been taking me on. He has been working on giving me a true appreciation for my city and the importance of urban ministry. When I began my degree in Intercultural Studies, I had no intention of doing urban ministry. That was the last thing I wanted to do! However, I have learned that when you tell God you won’t do something, he tends to lead you to do those exact things. I am serving with Emerald Youth and AmeriCorps because of this exact journey, and I have loved every minute of it. I just keep being affirmed that this is part of the plan God has for me.