By Suzy Belmont, Assistant AmeriCorps Coordinator
The CU-Boulder Service Learning and AmeriCorps office had a fantastic service year in 2012-13 and is looking forward to an exciting year. This past academic year we had 82 AmeriCorps members serving in Boulder County and the surrounding community. As of the beginning of July our members have served a total of 18,051.5 hours. These students also earned a total of $33,200 in educational scholarships. Many members are continuing to serve throughout the summer and will earn their educational scholarships when they complete their hours.
AmeriCorps members serve through the Colorado Campus Compact program (soon to be Campus Compact of the Mountain West) in a variety of capacities. There are several ways for students to contribute as service members in AmeriCorps. Our academic mentors support the academic growth of K-12 students in various schools and non-profits in the Boulder community; public achievement members focus on empowering local K-12 youth to find solutions to their community’s most salient issues; capacity building members work with local non-profits to identify ways to improve their volunteer departments; student teachers work in Title I or high need schools to empower students and improve these schools. All our members serve either high need K-12 students or non-profit organizations in the community.
Our members also participate in service learning conferences and events through additional scholarships and support. Katie Raitz, an AmeriCorps member with Public Achievement, attended the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) this past spring in St. Louis. Her trip was funded through the Colorado Campus Compact and would not have been able to attend the conference without this financial support. She attended the event on behalf of the Relation Education By Teens for Teens, which is a peer to peer sexual education organization based out of Lafayette.
"The conference provided me an opportunity to engage with and learn from pioneering social justice activists working around the world," Raitz said. "CGI U gave me access to a network of leaders and activists, and inspired me to build coalitions for social change across the globe and on a wide array of issues.”
Raitz plans to expand Relation Education By Teens for Teens to four different cities in the Boulder County area in the upcoming year because of the ideas, support and training she received at the conference. Elaina Verveer, Raitz's supervisor, described Katie’s AmeriCorps service this past year, ”…[Katie] supported students as they designed a week-long, multicultural curriculum to integrate in existing U.S. history courses, requiring her to develop and facilitate weekly lesson plans, coordinate relevant field experiences, and forge mentoring relationships with her students, Centaurus faculty, and community stakeholders. The Service Learning and AmeriCorps Office at CU is excited to celebrate Katie’s service and the many other students on the CU campus who dedicate their time to bring positive changes to their community."
Next year we hope to attract even more bright, dedicated and passionate students like Katie Raitz to join the AmeriCorps team and “Get things done for America!” Sign-ups begin in the Fall 2013 semester. For more information please contact our program director Jesse Bedirian at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-492-7718.
Photo: Katie Raitz