Journal

February Summary

The start of my Round 4 of AmeriCorps NCCC has put me in a whirlwind! I was always in a constant “questioning what day it is” state, and all I was able to grasp to prevent dizziness were the tasks at hand. The constant go and not knowing what is next has always excited me, but as I near the end of my 10 months straight of the AmeriCorps life I think that staying in one spot for a moment sounds like a good idea.

For the month of February, I was stationed in Washington D.C. with my composite team. Each of us were selected to be part of this special project with the ALVAINA Foundation. The foundation’s main mission is to is to bridge the socio-economic development gap through research-based education programs, advocacy, and technical assistance. ALVAINA is an acronym for A Leadership & Learning Venture Accessible Internationally and Nationally for All. 

Being a special project, the work has been a lot different to the type of work NCCC is known for. I’ve entered the office life once again. This time in a bustling, creative, co-working space. My main tasks has been to build the social media platforms for the ALVAINA Foundation which has been awesome professional experience for me because it taps into all the skills and work that I want to do post AmeriCorps (which is coming up soon!!). After the 3 weeks of work was up I had completed a years worth of social media content for the organization to post, several promotional brochures, a communications guide, and other design work for other documents that aligned with the brand’s aesthetic. Working strategically and creatively the past several weeks has been fulfilling for me and has validated a lot of my professional aspirations.

AmeriCorps NCCC is under the organization, CNCS (Corporation for National and Community Service). My team and I had the opportunity to tour their offices and meet a lot of the staff that works out the logistics that make NCCC function from day-to-day. We were even able to meet with the National Director and Chief of Staff of AmeriCorps NCCC! Touring the offices and having lunch with some of the leaders of the organization was an awesome opportunity—they gave us a lot of advice and insight to the organization. Another event that happened to be going on while in D.C. and my team and I were invited to was the memorial of Harris Wofford. He was a senator, attorney and civil rights activist who even walked from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. He was a man who lived and breathed National service. He was one of the founders of PeaceCorps and AmeriCorps as well as an advisor to many Presidents and other political figures. We were at Howard University as participants in his memorial. I was chose as an Honor Guard representing the NCCC branch of AmeriCorps. There were other service members representing other service divisions such as Senior Corps, City Year, and Peace Corps.

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Aside from working—which takes up most of my time—I had a visitor by the name of Mark Looney. Short and sweet, the weekend flew by—but it was great to spend time with him and take photos of him taking photos—and they say millennials are bad with phones ;-). We walked the entire mall and went into some of the Smithsonian Museums. It was also a weekend of reuniting with some of the Fox Run Crew and a friend I met in Paris a few years ago.

A jam-packed 3 weeks it was. It was awesome to be back in a city after most of my time in the past 7 months has been in extremely rural areas of the United States—and where I type this right now is in the middle of the woods in Memphis, Tennessee. Its been a great experience to work with ALVAINA and see good family friends while in D.C. My next projects and what will wrap up my time in AmeriCorps NCCC is working with The United Way in Memphis, TN helping people with taxes, and then I’ll be heading up North to New Jersey to work with the organization, Homefront where my team and I will be rehabilitating homes. The finish line is coming up very quickly so as I do wrap up my service year I will be back in Ohio by May 2nd and would love to reconnect with the friendly faces I haven’t seen in awhile. So please don’t be a stranger—I want to see you!!

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Some more photos from my time in Washington D.C…

Shannon Looney