AmeriCorps experience opens new world for student
By April Blake, 803-777-5984
Getting to work a full-time job that offers a wide range of real, transferable job skills isn't something every student gets to do, but that's exactly what Morgan Lundy did this summer.
As an AmeriCorps Summer Service Associate selected to represent the University of South Carolina, Lundy was placed at the Richland Library to assist in both programming and with some aspects of library science. This English major didn't mind though, because her time volunteering with AmeriCorps has made her realize that she wants to stay involved with literacy and service throughout her career.
Her work this summer let her see the library's mission from several angles. "I didn't think of the library as a nonprofit before, but providing the educational materials during the summer when kids don't have the regiments of school, it's keeping them caught up," she says. "And for people who don't have the same access to resources as others, it helps level the playing field."
Additionally, she picked up valuable communications skills in dealing with adults and children. She also learned about customer service, flexibility and professionalism that she can use in the future. Her daily job duties varied from shelving books to being hands-on with the library's various types of programming.
"It never got boring," she says. From having the Carolina football team there to read to the kids for Pigskin Poets to helping branch libraries provide fun in the form of a balloon artist and snow cones, Lundy says she didn't realize that libraries even provided that kind of programming, or that it could be so much fun.
Lundy became aware of the AmeriCorps opportunity after getting involved with the Leadership and Service Center so that she could meet new people on campus. Applications for the summer associates program are available in the spring and are submitted to the Office of Student Engagement. Following that, chosen students go through an interview process then selections are made for four Carolina students each year who are placed in community organizations like the Richland Library and Fort Jackson so they can make a difference for themselves and others at the same time.
For more information on AmeriCorps for students, visit the Office of Student Engagement.
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