Lyon County, Nevada ~ Pizen Switch Times credits Community Volunteer Quest Lakes from Silver City, Nevada for the following informational interview of Alisha Moss who began a full time career after gaining experience and knowledge through AmeriCorps:
AmeriCorps Stories: A Q&A With Former Member Alisha Moss
AmeriCorps is a national program that connects individuals and organizations to help communities tackle challenges. Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey Counties (HCC) is currently recruiting for part time and full time AmeriCorps members to work up to 12-month service terms teaching financial literacy to children, teens and adults. HCC will provide the training needed to learn about and then teach financial literacy skills. Members connect with an expanded professional and social network and gain valuable experiences that often lead to employment after their service ends—all while earning trust and gratitude from the communities they serve.
“We hope service-minded people will apply to AmeriCorps and join our team to make a difference,” said Healthy Communities’ AmeriCorps Program Director, Jeff Sater. Full time AmeriCorps members will have a living allowance of $20,600, and an Educational Award of $6,495 after completing a full term of service. Half time members will have a living allowance of $11,000 plus an Education Award of $3,247.50 when they complete their service. Members receive training in financial literacy, CPR, and community health work as well. To learn more, contact Jeff at Jeff@hcclsc.org
Want to know more? Who better to ask than an AmeriCorps alumna who has made a successful transition from AmeriCorps to career? We asked Alisha Moss, HCC’s Prevention Coordinator and a former AmeriCorps member, to share insights about the program.
Q: Why did you want to be an AmeriCorps member?
I was sold on the potential for building my resume and earning an Education Award to further my education. The purpose of AmeriCorps – helping my community – intrigued me.
Q: What were some of the ways that your AmeriCorps service helped the community?
My service was around health and nutrition projects, and I usually served at the Dayton Nevada Food Pantry. I also helped at the food pantry in Silver Springs if they were short-handed, and before the Yerington Food Pantry opened, I was part of a team that painted the building. As an AmeriCorps member, I also assisted with projects at schools, and added support to Lyon County Human Services. Our team also offered community outreach for older adults and helped with things like weeding and repairing steps.
Q: What was your favorite part of serving with AmeriCorps?
I made some really good friends and learned new skills. One of my favorite events was helping to set up the Remote Area Medical pop-up clinic in Silver Springs. I got to see how many people were being served and saw the appreciation of community members who got the medical and dental services they needed.
Q: How did your service and training with AmeriCorps help you in your current field?
After AmeriCorps, I started as an office assistant at HCC, then moved to a position as HCC’s Prevention Coordinator. Now I am working on becoming an Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use Prevention Specialist and I’ve completed training as a Certified Community Health Worker II. There was a lot of training during my service year that helped in my current position as Prevention Coordinator with HCC. I had training for Signs of Suicide, Safe Talk, CPR, Community Health Work I, and Mental Health First Aid (for youth and adults).
Q: Did AmeriCorps service with HCC help you grow professionally, network and build strong professional relationships?
Being an AmeriCorps member helped me get out there and get to know so many people. I was serving in the schools and helping with projects at Lyon County Human Services long before I was an HCC employee, so they recognized me and welcomed me with open arms in my new HCC position. I became a friendly face they knew first through AmeriCorps. It’s easier to walk into a place where they already know you.
Q: For someone currently in the space you were in years ago—they hear about AmeriCorps and say, “I’m interested, but I’m not sure,” – what would you say?
Experience of a lifetime. Go for it! I enjoyed it and if I had the choice to make again, I would absolutely do it.