The Jobs for Montana’s Graduates Foundation (JMGF) started the Young Adult Service Corps AmeriCorps program in 2006 to engage high schools in service and to help youth further their studies with an education award. Since that time, more than 500 youth have served as AmeriCorps members earning nearly $500,000 in education awards. Through their service, these young leaders have acquired practical job skills, improved their confidence as leaders, and developed as citizens.
Young Adult Service Corps April 2012
Young Adult Service Corps AmeriCorps members typically served 300 hours in their communities through their schools or other local organizations. Members helped with after school programs, mentored elementary school students, helped build green-star efficient homes, served with local fire department to help coordinate trainings, and so much more.
Stories from Young Adult Service Corps Alumni
Kylee McDonnell: Roberts High School, Roberts, MT
“I really enjoyed a service activity that I did called Just Right Reading. It was so fun to be able to see the kids and help them with their reading. I remember at first they would be so shy. They would sit far away from you and whisper the words. By the end of the year, they would cuddle right up to you and even make you read some of the story. They loved books with multiple characters. They would make up voices for each one, and make you do the same. It was fun to see them blossom in their reading skills. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to be a part of this program.”
Lauren Miller: Bigfork LEAP, Bigfork, MT
“I had the pleasure of volunteering at an afterschool program in Bigfork called LEAP, a program dedicated to providing a safe, creative, yet structured environment for children to plan and learn. My role was to assist in the preparation and serving of their snack, and then to direct the children through their play time, a short assembly, and then to teach a class to a small group of kids about a fun, educational topic. I would devise lesson plans myself, and encourage the children to foster social/life-skills, as needed, I was also available as a counselor, a mentor, and a friend. I was happy to give attention to these bright youngsters and in return they brought me tears, enrichment and joy. I think as much as I taught them, they also taught me valuable life-lessons.”
Lashon Two Two: Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, Lame Deer, MT
“My service activity was working with children at the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne. It helped parents who were at work and needed a place for their children to be taken care of and watched over. It helped the children know that there is a place and people there for them when they needed support. The influence that helped with my service in the community showed how I could be helping. It helped with the patience that I developed during my volunteering. It showed everyone and myself, that volunteering is fun and helps in so many ways in any community.”
Andrew Mitchell: Helena High School, Helena, MT
“The moment in my service that stood out most to me happened almost every day and still maintained its magical feeling. During the second semester, I volunteered as a mentor at Bryant Elementary aiding on the playground and in the classroom with the Kindergarten students. I would walk over there during third period and as soon as I got on the playground I would hear that familiar squeal of Gabriel. He'd run up to me and grab my hand yelling "ANDREW!" Every single recess we would walk around and play all sorts of games. No matter what we did, he was always right there. Gabriel, and the rest of the students, became the reason why I was dreading the year's end because we had become so close in such a small amount of time. Being that person that these kids looked up to felt amazing. They were always willing to take my advice and listen to me, and I realize that these kids had a major effect on me. Our symbiotic relationship made every day that much more joyful for me, the students and even the staff. I was able to take some of the stress off the teachers by being energetic in and out of the classroom. In the classroom, I had the kindergartners read to me, which was also really fun for me because I love reading, and teaching these children felt really good. Although I knew that my service was benefiting these students and their teachers, I felt blessed to be able to do it. They taught me so much about myself and I hope that if anything, I taught them that service is important and that they should do what I did when they are my age. If my service can inspire the service of others, that would be the greatest success of all. I'll never forget little Gabriel, and his memory will remind me of how amazing this experience was and how much I love service.”
The Job’s for Montana Graduates Foundation and the Young Adult Service Corps wrapped up their operations in September of 2012. The Governor’s Office of Community Service thanks Connie Roope, Sarah Sadowski, Jake West, and all the other staff over the years for their amazing service to Montana!
If you are a YASC alumnus and have questions about your AmeriCorps Education Award, please call the National Service Trust at 800-842-2677. If you need further assistance, please contact the Governor’s Office of Community Service at 406-444-9077.