Blog

Self-Discovery through AmeriCorps Service

Article Author: Megan Geer, serving at Ijams Nature Center (2018-2019)

What made you decide to join AmeriCorps? Was it what you thought it would be?

When I decided to join AmeriCorps it was very much an opportunity to boost my resume with actual work experience in a field that I had no experience in. It turned out to be much more than just some entry level opportunity. I wish I had joined with the sole intention of giving back to the community that has given me so much but that wasn’t the case when I started. However, after joining I quickly realized that AmeriCorps was going to be a year filled with meeting wonderful people and making a big difference in a wonderful community. My time serving has shown me ways to connect with people that Continue reading “Self-Discovery through AmeriCorps Service”

Behind the Scenes – Randall Eaker

Article Authors: Christine Doka & Randall Eaker (CAC AmeriCorps 2018-2019)

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has been a cornerstone in East Tennessee since the 1930s. The TVA Act, which created TVA, was part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal to help residents of East Tennessee recover from the Great Depression through employment, access to electricity, and otherwise generally improving the quality of life in the region. Since then, TVA has grown to serve over 10 million people in 7 southeastern states. If you ask a local about TVA, you may hear about the noticeable steam plants that overlook our rivers, or the large dams that were built to control flooding in the area. However, TVA does much more than providing electricity and controlling flooding; TVA also offers outdoor recreation spaces and economic development opportunities.

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The Acclaimed Reclaimers

Article Authors: 
Marlee Jennings, Annalisa Tarizzo, Sarah Clark, Megan Finan, & Leah McCord

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Most CAC AmeriCorps Members spend their service year in focused association with their sponsoring organization, perhaps developing their strongest relationships with the supervisor, staff, and clients. But several partnering entities have more than enough work to go around, the means of supporting that work, and, from this, the opportunity to develop well-functioning, tightly bounded crews.  These include the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, Beardsley Farm, Knox County Storm Water, and University of Tennessee Recycling. It was in 2010 that Jay Price, the UT Recycling Manager, welcomed in the first AmeriCorps State/National Members, and the number has grown since, expanding to include a VISTA Member in the 2017-2018 service year, capping the current total at 5. Such is the comradery that forms in this group that requests for serving a second year with the same Members has become commonplace.

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Empowering Community through Education

Before this year, the partner organizations and their respective AmeriCorps Members in our VISTA program have been building organizational capacity to provide economic opportunity, training, and resources to populations who experience significant barriers to employment. Other sites have been concentrating on creating healthier futures to our most food insecure and isolated members in the community, including seniors, children, and the homeless.  These efforts proudly continue and are being added to by two new sites, Girls, Inc. and Centro Hispano de East Tennessee, dedicated to combating poverty through one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal: EDUCATION.

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