by Amy Hahn
Monday, January 16, 2017 marked the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service for AmeriCorps members nation-wide. The MLK Day of Service is a way to transform Dr. King’s life and teachings into community service that helps empower and strengthen local communities –”a day on, not a day off.” For AmeriCorps VISTA Branding Coordinator Amy Hahn, her commitment to Boston Partners in Education embodies the meaning of service each day. To coincide with National Mentoring Month and MLK Day, Amy reflects on her experience working behind the scenes at a nonprofit and as a mentor.
Take a peek at what Amy and her fellow AmeriCorps VISTAs were up to on their day of service from our Twitter account @BostonPartners, and support what AmeriCorps members in Boston are doing in your community!
Last May I graduated from Syracuse University and I made the decision to spend my first year out of college serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA. When I started my application process I knew two things: I wanted to serve in Boston and I wanted to do work related to my undergraduate degree, public relations. After submitting applications and interviewing with a few different Boston nonprofits, I decided to serve with Boston Partners in Education as the Branding Coordinator.
AmeriCorps interested me because it struck a chord with my passion for service. AmeriCorps is a federally funded, national service program that allows citizens of all backgrounds to volunteer in their communities. Although there are multiple branches of AmeriCorps, I felt VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) best represented what I wanted to do, which was to use my education and drive to help a nonprofit organization. At Boston Partners in Education, I am able to create and implement programs and improve existing processes to better the future of the organization.
I’ve been in service for five months now and during my time here I’ve had the opportunity to see the inner-workings of a nonprofit and the impact such an organization can have on the community around it. Particularly, I’ve been able to see the impact Boston Partners’ volunteer academic mentors have on the students in the Boston Public Schools.
I have seen CEOs and presidents read to classrooms filled with sixth graders, who were eager to learn through our Big Cheese Reads Initiative. I have seen Boston Red Sox executives read to a gym filled with students, who learned reading can fit into any passion they might have. I was inspired by these moments to use my time outside of my service hours to give my personal time to the cause.
I decided to become a mentor and thus far it has been extremely rewarding. I spend an hour every week with a fourth grade student at the Josiah Quincy School. Although we’ve only been meeting for about a month, she’s already given me something to look forward to every week. I’m so grateful to have been given this opportunity to give back and I’m excited to see her progress (and my own) over the course of this year!