AmeriCorps Week March 8-14, 2020 (Erin, Eric, and Danielle)

(Pictured Left) Erin Kitchens: Teaching English classes at our central office location is both rewarding and challenging. We get to see people who are experiencing America for the first time become acclimated to their new lives. Today in class one client from Myanmar and another from The Democratic Republic of Congo sat next to each other in class. People tend to sit with people of their own cultures for comfort and ease of communication in their native languages. They recognized this passion in learning in each other and started communicating through small gestures; a smile here a laugh there. They were just so excited to be with someone of a comparable level of and enthusiasm for learning that all cultural pretense was forgotten. Just two people bridging cultural boundaries. Finding on the other side an individual as joyful and worthy as themselves.

(Pictured Center) Eric Petersen: Being an AmeriCorps member working in Refugee Employment has allowed me the chance to explore new career paths and discover new passions. After my AmeriCorps year, I will be traveling to Tanzania to study Swahili. By doing so, I will be able to better connect with my clients as I continue to work in this field after my term. This type of experience was never something I thought I would be doing before my year as an AmeriCorps member.

(Pictured Right) Danielle Spencer: During my AmeriCorps year working in Refugee Support Services, I have been able to see myself grow into my role as a case manager. Working closely with refugee families new to Kansas, I have been able to see the transformation within families to becoming comfortable in their new homes. The refugee community is one that is so resilient, and I feel honored to be able to be a small part in their journey getting settled in their new home.