Americorps volunteers raise awareness

May 13, 2008 3:41:06 PM PDT
They lend a helping hand to communities in need, and today they rallied to raise awareness about their mission. Some of the 1500 people who serve as Americorps volunteers in Philadelphia rallied at City Hall this morning. Their goal is to bring attention to the 50 different community service programs throughout the city that offer volunteer opportunities.

Mary Strasser from Corporation for National and Community Service tells us, "They're doing things like? Education Works, Teach for America, Americorps Vista."

Tikki Montague mentors children at Cleveland Elementary School. "We try to build their scores in liaison with the schools and the teachers, as well as we also teach them conflict resolution... we do community service in the area."

Rasheen Coulbourne provides tech support for teachers and helps kids learn computer skills. He tells us, "It's definitely rewarding doing what I do. Being able to work one on one with the kids, and teach them new things they're interested in, that they didn't know was available to them previously."

Some Americorps volunteers get a living stipend, others get tuition credits. But like some of the future doctors who took part in a North Philadelphia cleanup project after the rally, all the Americorps workers say the real payoff is the life experience.

Brianne Whitney runs fitness programs in Southwest Philadelphia. "I'm planning on going to med school next year, so I really needed experience in the health field. Also, it's great leadership experience as well."

If you're interested in learning how to get involved with Americorps check out the links below.