Where Are They Now? AmeriCorps Service as a Local Foot-in-the-Door

March 8-16 is AmeriCorps Week, a time to thank members for their service and highlight the great work they do nationwide. As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, CEDAM is running a “Where are they now?” blog post series, featuring four AmeriCorps alumni who served with the Michigan Foreclosure Prevention Corps during the 2012 program year.

Amy Evans is a multi-year AmeriCorps alumni. She served for four years at Northern Homes CDC in Boyne City. Like many CEDAM’s AmeriCorps members, she was able to use her experience as a springboard into nonprofit work, becoming familiar with grant writing during her term and gaining certification as a MSHDA housing counselor. She now serves as the director of community resource development at The Salvation Army of Petoskey. 

How did AmeriCorps impact the trajectory of your life and your career?

I had just made a major change in my life, decided to return to Michigan and wanted to do something meaningful. AmeriCorps allowed me to venture into the nonprofit world for the first time and although the money is not the same, the work is much more rewarding.

Amy Evans, CEDAM’s AmeriCorps Alumni

Are you still living in Michigan or has life taken you further afield?

I am still living in Michigan which was a conscious decision prior to joining AmeriCorps and venturing into nonprofits.

What is your current job title and place of employment?

I am the Director of Community Resource Development for The Salvation Army of Petoskey.

What skills did you gain from your time serving as an AmeriCorps member and how are they benefitting you today?

Although I came with a lot of skills from the for-profit business sector, AmeriCorps allowed me to take a course in grant writing through a community college online which has helped tremendously since I write about 10 grants a year. Grant writing is not something used in for-profit business. I also made many, many connections in the nonprofit organizations within our local area which helped with many partnerships and still does today.

During my time with AmeriCorps I also became certified as a MSHDA Housing Counselor and licensed realtor shortly after being hired by the company I was serving at, so I had many options open to me.

What advice would you give to a potential AmeriCorps member?

Take this time and figure out what you really want to do and what makes you happy because we spend so much time working (after you’re done serving of course) and you want it to be something you’re proud of and enjoy doing.

Never be afraid to ask for guidance from Rachel or from any of your AmeriCorps peers, keep your options open when meeting new people and take advantage of any training or education that is available.

CEDAM is celebrating ten years of AmeriCorps with the 2019-20 cohort! We’re marking the occasion with a blog series and alumni events, spending some time reflecting on the past, and looking into the future.