After 3 weeks of training in both St. Louis and Butte, new Members are really starting to understand what AmeriCorps St. Louis is all about. Read what some of them had to say about their first impressions of the program!
Nouns That Start With “M”
“In the months before I started my term of service with AmeriCorps St. Louis, my mind was filled to the brim with excited thoughts and fantastical ideas of what this new chapter of my life might look like. Naturally, I tried to reel my excitement in, if only slightly. I didn’t want to set my expectations too high, or create this image in my mind of what my term may be like before it began. Upon my arrival to St. Louis, though, I started to have these thoughts again, and with them, doubts. “This is dangerous,” I thought, “what if I ruin my experience by setting unrealistic expectations?” Each day that has passed since then, however, I realize more and more how much I need begin trusting my gut and, even more importantly, my heart. From spending 12 hours in a car with familiar-feeling-strangers who I’ll surely soon consider close friends, to camping in 12-degree, snowy weather in Montana, the Emergency Response Team is quickly turning these sour sounding experiences and, somehow, transforming them into memories I’ll cherish for the rest of my term, and likely the rest of my life. Whether we face hardships, learn new skills, build new goals, or spend hours around a fire playing made-up games, I’m stoked to embrace our individual personalities and experiences, and support one another as we grow.”
Time Of Our Lives
Coming into AmeriCorps St. Louis, I knew it was going to be a challenge. I knew some days were going to be tougher than others. I’ve previously done AmeriCorps NCCC before, so I knew what I was getting into and the basics of how AmeriCorps worked. It’s always hard for me to open up at the start of a new job/program I get into. For some reason, it takes longer for me to be comfortable being myself around people. I found all this about myself in my NCCC experience. That’s the beauty of these volunteer programs. The beauty of AmeriCorps. You find out who you are, what you like/dislike, your strengths and weaknesses, what you want to improve on, and you find true friends that will last a lifetime. My first impressions on AmeriCorps St. Louis is that it’s a very well structured program that strives on getting their corps members confident and comfortable in the work they will be doing. AmeriCorps St. Louis wants the corps member to feel accomplished and to make them realize they can put anything they put their mind to. The staff members in this program have all been previous corps members which makes the current corps members respect them more since they understand our struggles and have been through what we are going though. I’m excited to get to know my corps members better and to open up with everyone more. I’m also excited to learn new skills and how to become a leader. AmeriCorps St. Louis is definitely going to be a challenge for all of us corps members. But it will also be some of the best months of our lives. So live up every moment, because these 11 months will go by in a blink of an eye.