By Natalie Hurd, Environmental AmeriCorps Member
Last August, Hands On Nashville welcomed a new class of AmeriCorps members to serve on our environmental, youth and education, and corporate teams. With the members nearing the end of the service year, they’re sharing their experiences, lessons learned and favorite memories.
Throughout her term, Anna Byrne has been working with Nashville neighborhood stakeholders to identify volunteer engagement opportunities supporting youth and education. Anna assesses neighborhood needs to help find volunteer-focused solutions.
What has been the most rewarding part of your AmeriCorps term so far?
All of the connections I have made in the nonprofit community, and the confidence I have found in my career path and myself. I start graduate school soon to pursue a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) degree, and because of my experience with HON, I feel confident on that path.
How does your term so far compare to your expectations when first joining?
I have been pleasantly surprised with how much I have learned and been able to do outside of my job description. I didn’t expect to get to do so many different types of work and I have really enjoyed that part of the job.
Can you share some advice for someone who is considering AmeriCorps or nonprofit work?
Service is a great way to learn about the nonprofit world, and AmeriCorps provides one avenue of getting that experience. AmeriCorps is a commitment to service, and service means that you are making a sacrifice—in my experience, that sacrifice has been well worth it. If you decide that you want to serve through AmeriCorps, then you will likely need to have support financially, whether that means working multiple jobs or having family to back you up.
What is your favorite place to spend a Sunday afternoon in Nashville?
Volunteer Trail with my dog, Atlas.
What do you like most about working at Hands On Nashville?
The work environment at HON has been one of my favorite parts of my year of service. Everyone here is so authentic and supportive. I don’t think I have ever felt so comfortable in a workplace.
Interested in serving with AmeriCorps? Hands On Nashville is hiring through July 24.