This week marks AmeriCorps Week 2017 — a time to salute AmeriCorps members and alums for their service, thank AmeriCorps community partners, and communicate AmeriCorps impact on communities and on the lives of those who serve. Beyond showing appreciation for our AmeriCorps members, we hope to increase overall awareness of the valuable contributions they make to communities and our country.

This week, Boston Partners in Education highlights Cory Murray, our Strategic Partnerships Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA. Read about Cory’s AmeriCorps experience in her guest blog below. 

americorp 1Last year, as I was approaching my graduation from Penn State University, I visited one of my favorite professors for some career advice. I was struggling to find a job and really didn’t know what I liked best to pursue in my future. My professor suggested that I should look into AmeriCorps, not only because the program matched my personality and goals, but also because it’s a great stepping stone into a career.

I accepted an AmeriCorps VISTA position with Boston Partners in Education soon after in August 2016. Just recently, I surpassed my six-month mark serving as their Strategic Partnerships Coordinator in Boston, Massachusetts. I have grown professionally as well as personally in these past six months and feel much more prepared for a successful future. In my role, I have met numerous professionals in Boston and have watched them volunteer through our non-profit. Seeing how I can help to provide them a time and place to give back to the community is highly rewarding and gives me the passion to go to work enthused every day.

Outside of work, I feel tremendous pride to say I am an AmeriCorp VISTA. Though at times it’s been difficult, I have learned to budget, to pay my bills (mostly on time), and carry my own weight in a busy city. Though I did not realize it until I started my service, there are literally tens of thousands of AmeriCorps members in America — all of whom understand the challenges and are there to provide a helping hand and words of advice. I will definitely be sad to end my service this upcoming summer but I’ll know that I have provided for my community by supporting Boston Partner’s cause. Through them, I have seen hundreds of students in the Boston Public Schools gain the encouragement to become future leaders.

This past weekend I attended a “Friendraiser” event at a Board Member’s house and had the great opportunity to talk with people about what an AmeriCorps VISTA does and about the work of Boston Partners. After hearing a few testimonials, strangers in the room began to ask how they could contribute, donate, and volunteer for us. Although I did not know most of these people, I felt connected to them. AmeriCorps gave me the opportunity to give back, and now I’m playing a part in giving many others that same opportunity that was provided to me — that alone makes my one year of service worth it.

All the Best,
Cory Murray