2011-2012 Service Engagement Corps – A Year in Review
Each year AmeriCorps provides opportunities for more than 80,000 Americans to give back to their communities and country through service. Indiana Campus Compact’s Service Engagement Corps (S-E Corps) is an AmeriCorps State program whose members serve with local non-profits and community groups. S-E Corps members played an important role in making a difference in their communities, while gaining valuable civic and workforce skills.
During the 2011-2012 program year, S-E Corps supported 16 projects on 12 campuses while mobilizing 143 college student leaders who served nearly 35,000 hours in their communities. Those students led and recruited 3,600 campus and 1,300 community volunteers who together generated just under 43,000 hours of service to communities across the state. Collectively, the 2011-2012 S-E Corps members and volunteers generated contributed 77,300 hours of service and have had an economic impact of over $1.68 million (2011 Independent Sector Volunteer Rate). While serving, S-E Corps members facilitated over 150 meetings and presentations focusing on the impact of service to communities, led and coordinated nearly 100 projects/events to mark national days of service, and served in over 150 nonprofit and community-based agencies.
S-E Corps projects ranged from working with children and retired seniors to promoting fair trade and healthcare to combatting hunger. Students learned to be leaders, innovators, and advocates. Community members were engaged in reciprocal partnerships with campuses and were both beneficiaries and benefactors. The S-E Corps program impacted both its volunteers and the communities they serve.
Ball State University S-E Corps member, Rachel Cunigan (third from left in photo), reflects on her service experience.
“Through Service Engagement Corps, I volunteered at an assisted living home, children's museum, food bank, and animal rescue center. Each of these experiences gave me a totally different perspective on the state of Indiana and the difference volunteers truly make. I spent time interacting with elderly community members, remodeling and renovating a children's museum to make it more kid friendly, sorting and packaging food to be distributed to families in need, and cleaning and caring for animals that no longer have owners. Each of the places I served provided me with a totally new and eye-opening experience that completely shaped my first year of college as well as my life.
My favorite aspect of my service experience would have to be that it helped me figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I came into college undecided on my major. I became involved with Service Engagement Corps and from this I became a part of Student Voluntary Services (SVS). Through my involvement, I was able to see the immense amount of help that Muncie, as well as other communities around the nation, needs. Seeing firsthand these issues, I decided that I want to spend my life helping those in need by working toward an eventual career with nonprofit organizations. My service inspired me to spend the rest of my life serving others and improving communities in need. My AmeriCorps experience also helped me establish a major (Political Science- International Studies) and a life plan. I have figured out that I want to continue serving others as a lifelong career. Not only that, but I plan on working with AmeriCorps again or City Year after graduation. My time spent serving helped establish short- and long-term goals for myself. I've also gained a lot of confidence, and time-management and organizational skills. AmeriCorps helped improve my college experience and my life overall.
Giving back to the community is such a selfless act that not only changes those who are being served but can also make a profound impact upon one’s self. Service changed my life and if someone is willing to open themselves up to helping others in need, they will get so much more than they ever expected out of it.” ~Rachel Cunigan