A Massachusetts Yankee in the (not really) Deep South

Article Author:
Emily Barbour, CAC AmeriCorps Alum 2014-2015

When I accepted a position with AmeriCorps in Knoxville one month after graduating from my small liberal arts college in New England, I had a lot of assumptions about what living in the South would mean. Now, depending on where you’re from, you might consider me a southerner. I’m from Maryland where we are technically south of the Mason-Dixon line, though we sided with the north in the Civil War. When I moved up to Massachusetts for college I was told sternly that I was a southerner, but whenever I venture south of the DC bubble I’m told in no uncertain terms that I’m not allowed to refer to myself as a southerner. All of this was more than enough to give a native of the Mid-Atlantic a mild identity crisis, but, in the end, I have chosen to label myself as a northerner, because that’s where I feel most at home. So moving to Knoxville, a town I had only just barely heard of, in what I, at the time, considered the Deep South was more than a little daunting.

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Curing Inaction

Article Author:
Rachel Newcomb, CAC AmeriCorps member 2015-2016


As a young kid my favorite part of my family’s weekly routine was when my mother would pull the car into a parking lot between a Food Lion and a store bearing a cow wearing 3-D glasses. This wondrous place was called MOOVIES and it’s where we picked our choice of VHS rentals for the week.

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A Woman in a Brawny Man’s World

Article Author:
Ariel Allen, Staff & CAC AmeriCorps Alum 2014-2015

Featured Image by Ariel Allen

When tasked to find an applicant to round out our 40 member corps for a manual labor position working with the Aslan Foundation, someone like Christine Doka wasn’t immediately who came to mind. Envisioning the paper towel legend “Brawny-Man” was, admittedly, my first instinct. Flannel optional. We instead discovered a petite 22 year old University of South Carolina Environmental Studies major who was eager to extend her knowledge and skills. What she might have lacked in initial brawn, was quickly forgotten by her willingness to do hard labor and ability to find a rhythm in an unfamiliar work environment. We recently sat down with Christine to chat about her experiences.

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An AmeriCorps Journey Through Emails: A Story of Rejection

Article Author:
Ariel Allen, Staff & CAC AmeriCorps Alum 2014-2015

With the approaching new year, in the thick of the nostalgic post-Christmas bubble, I started digging through my old emails and began piecing together a story of my humbling past few years. Below is a compilation of excerpts from my actual emails that will not only guide you, but has also helped me relive the painful rejections and ultimate triumph that perfectly captures my AmeriCorps journey. Hopefully you can identify with both my self- deprecating grief and eventual success as part of your own narrative.  For your viewing pleasure:

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Gardens aren’t made, they’re grown…

Article Author:
Ariel Allen , CAC AmeriCorps Staff and Alum 2014- 2015

Frank Callo joined CAC AmeriCorps in 2006 as a father, a gardening advocate and recent grad.  Four years later his son, Matt Callo, would literally follow in his dirt-stained footsteps. I sat down with father and son and asked about their experience with CAC AmeriCorps and Beardsley Farm.

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