This spring, Hands On Nashville welcomed a new class of AmeriCorps members to serve in key impact areas. From supporting school gardens in Nashville, to engaging youth in service-learning opportunities year-round, each of these fine folks will support Hands On Nashville in its mission to meet community needs through volunteerism.
As each member gets acclimated to their new roles, we asked them about the meaning of volunteerism, their greatest aspirations for their service term, and a few fun questions for good measure. We’re pleased to introduce them to you.
David, Corporate Partner AmeriCorps member.
During his term, David will support the development, planning, and implementation of projects that maximize the ability of corporate volunteers to address community needs.
“I hope that my greatest achievement will be helping a great organization do great work in areas that need it most…that no matter where life takes me after my AmeriCorps experience, I can look back on my service knowing that I did the best I could, that I made a meaningful contribution, and that I gained essential career skills along the way,” David says.
Q: What would you do if you could do anything and why?
A: I would travel the world, become fluent in at least a few languages, write constantly, and meet people. I love the diversity and spontaneity that traveling brings.
Maggie, YVC Engagement AmeriCorps member
During her term, Maggie will play a leading role in developing youth leaders through service, and coordinate a wide array of service-based leadership opportunities throughout the year.
“To me, volunteerism means being a part of something bigger than myself, humbling myself to be led, and having a really great time because the everyday pressures of money are off the table,” Maggie says. “I want my greatest accomplishment to be helping a youth find one of his/her passions and encouraging him/her to pursue it.”
Q: If you could have one super power, what would it be?
A: I would have the power of teleportation, most definitely. I love to experience new places, but I have big issues with airplane seats.
Marshall, Disaster Preparedness AmeriCorps member
During his term, Marshall will collaborate with key local disaster preparedness entities to develop and implement an annual emergency response training and certification program to support nonprofits, The Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, and emergency/medical responders.
“Volunteerism is a desire to be involved in one’s community and a dedication to the improvement of everyone’s lifestyle,” says Marshall. “I am excited to serve in this role because I want to do meaningful work that has a positive impact on community while I start my career…. A year from now I want to look back on programs I put in place that will be helpful in the event of a disaster as my greatest accomplishment.”
Q: If you could only listen to one album forever, which one would it be and why?
A: Radiohead’s In Rainbows. I have had this album in heavy rotation since it came out in 2007 and I’m not tired of it yet so I assume I never will be.
Meghan, Home Energy Savings AmeriCorps member
During her term, Meghan will provide programmatic support to Hands On Nashville’s Home Energy Savings Program by conducting homeowner outreach and education, making site visits, and leading volunteers.
“It’s been four years since I had much to do with what I studied for my undergraduate degree, and I am so excited to get my hands and feet back in the mix of environmental science and energy efficiency,” Meghan says. “Energy efficiency and sustainability has been a concentration of knowledge and lifestyle for me, and being part of a program that practices it as well as teaches and helps other to allow energy efficiency into their own daily routine…that’s exciting for me… I’m glad to make those decisions a little easier for these families.”
Q: What is your favorite hobby and why?
A: My favorite hobby that I have is house hunting….The detail and imagination and love people put into their homes and how they’re built, it’s kind of eye opening and gives tons of ideas for someday-homeowners like me.
Nicholle, Greenhouse Programming AmeriCorps member
During her term, Nicholle will assist in coordinating the construction of Hands On Nashville’s new greenhouse, and help establish and support its operational systems and production processes.
“Volunteerism to me is donating your time and energy to a cause whose reward is not tangible, and to participate in such a cause benefits the community as a whole,” Nicholle says. “I am excited that this program allows me to take it in my own direction and I get to be a part of something really influential to the kids it will be serving…. A year from now, I hope to look back and see a successful greenhouse program run mainly by the students.”
Q: What’s your favorite hobby and why do you love it?
A: As of late, my favorite hobby is gardening because it is challenging and really makes you connect with the food that goes in your body.
Sally, Urban Agriculture Education AmeriCorps member
During her term, Sally will support Hands On Nashville’s Urban Agriculture Program by providing quality service-learning opportunities to youth that enhance their ability to navigate the food system.
“I believe that getting soil under your fingernails and tasting food that has grown from land that you have worked with, that you have sweated in, that is something extraordinary,” Sally says. “It reverberates in your emotional and physical health, it impacts community connection and inspires relationships, and it can overturn systems of oppression. And best of all – these extraordinary moments are possible! By giving youth access to the opportunity to grow and taste fresh, wholesome food and the knowledge to do this independently outside of our programming, youth are empowered to make choices that bring health to themselves, their communities, and the environment. How could I not be excited to be a part of this?”
Q: What’s one fun fact you?
A: There was a time in my recent life where I received one of my eight “daily recommended hugs” from a goat, who coincidentally was also named Sally.