We asked the entire national service community to share their #ChangedbyService stories. Here’s a great submission from Amber Powell, an AmeriCorps NCCC alumni:
The only answer I have to how service changed me is “fundamentally”. My first year in AmeriCorps became a trampoline towards so many possibilities, and there is no doubt in my mind that I have a much more fulfilling life because of it. AmeriCorps exposed me to people of all different backgrounds, gave me travel experience, and most importantly life experience. I had opportunities to work with professionals and be around college graduates, which really led me to understand that college could be an option for me. I learned that I have a passion for disaster relief and community service, something that I have tried to incorporate into every life step since. I continued to volunteer in disaster affected areas after NCCC, going to Haiti in late 2010 following the earthquake and to Vermont immediately after Hurricane Irene in 2011. I then started a second year of AmeriCorps in the State and National program “Emergency Response Corps,” and worked as a firefighter EMT in a town in southern Maine. I stayed on as a Firefighter EMT as I worked through community college and am now finishing up a Bachelor’s Degree to pursue my dream of working for an organization in disaster relief. Every step I have taken and continue to take has revolved around my experiences in my first year of service.