We continue to share stories of the work our 2016 AmeriCorps Alums award winners have done and continue to do in their communities.
Our annual National Service Alums awards honor and celebrate people from all national service programs, including AmeriCorps State and National programs, AmeriCorps VISTA programs, National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), and SeniorCorps. Each year, we take your submissions and award winners who are then honored at the Serve Illinois Opening Day program in our state capital, Springfield, IL.
This interview is with AmeriCorps Alums Tamara Jordan.
1. Why did you choose to serve? Tell me more about the program you were with and your year of service.
I heard about AmeriCorps through a friend. I choose to serve because I was able to work with veterans, a group that care about so much mainly because I am a veteran and I realize the needs of the community.
2. What are you doing now?
I currently serve as Senator Durbin’s Veteran/Military liaison for the Chicago office. I also handle issues that fall under the Department of Education, Housing and certain immigration issues. I am the middle man between the constituent and the federal agency.
3. How has your service experience changed your worldview?
My service has made me appreciate the world a lot more and be grateful for what I have. I worked with an underserved population and it made it easy to put my blessings in perspective.
4. Out of all your experiences with AmeriCorps, what was your proudest moment?
Running the food pantry at the VA and being able to serve hundreds of veterans every week.
5. What is an invaluable lesson you learned in your service?
Be thankful for what you have because you never know when you can lose it all. I have learned to be humble and treat others with respect because I would want the same. I have learned that helping others is one of the most invaluable feelings in the world.
6. What is one thing you wish more people knew about AmeriCorps or the program you served with?
AmeriCorps is a great way to transition between college and work. Although the pay is very difficult to live off of, it is a wonderful way to learn about adapting in the work place. AmeriCorps members are also highly respected amongst the workplace because of the skill sets they bring to the table.