Over the years, hundreds of inspiring people have served as AmeriCorps members with Youth Volunteer Corps, enabling thousands of youth to discover the joy of serving. We want to recognize our current AmeriCorps members for the incredible work they’re doing every day, so we give out a quarterly award honoring an outstanding YVC AmeriCorps member each season.
Kelsie Rutledge served as an AmeriCorps member with YVC of Cedar City, UT, this summer, and had a huge impact on her community and helped further the YVC mission. Meet Kelsie and hear about the impact she had as a YVC AmeriCorps member:
What is your favorite part about your YVC AmeriCorps service?
My favorite part would have to be getting to know our Youth Volunteers and seeing their enthusiasm and commitment to serving their community. I was continually inspired by their desire to serve. As I would meet with the youth and serve alongside them, they were always coming up with new ways to serve, and even more, they would become involved in making it happen. This amazed me and helped me see that everyone has the ability to make an impact in their community, it doesn’t matter their age, gender, race, economic status or anything else. There are always ways to get involved and serve in your community—all you need is the desire and the will to do the work. These Youth Volunteers that I spent the summer with are amazing. I loved getting to know them and helping them learn about themselves, hard work and their community.
How have you grown from your YVC AmeriCorps service?
I am currently going to school at Southern Utah University where I am studying Strategic Communications with plans of becoming an Event Manager. YVC has greatly prepared me for my last year in school and going into my career. I have grown in many ways because of YVC: I am more committed to serving those in my community, I have grown to appreciate the hard work of others, I am more aware of what is happening in my community and what needs to be done, but I would say most of all, I have stepped out of my comfort zone and learned how to be a leader. I have learned how to motivate a team, how to effectively delegate tasks, and how to run a meeting. These skills will all be essential to my career. When I first started with YVC, I was terrified to start making calls and talking to potential sponsors, and scheduling service opportunities. I spent a lot of time rehearsing the phone call so I would sound confident on the phone, but by the end of my YVC AmeriCorps service I was able to make phone calls with confidence. I stepped out of my comfort zone and I learned how to be confident in myself and my capabilities. I know wherever I go after graduation, I will always look back and pull from my experience as an YVC AmeriCorps member.
What was the best part of your experience serving with YVC this summer?
As I started working with YVC, I was most excited about becoming more involved in my community. I moved to Cedar City in the fall of 2013 to attend Southern Utah University, so when I started with YVC I had only been living in Cedar for about a year and a half, and it was going to be my first summer living in Cedar. My experience and knowledge of Cedar City before YVC was pretty limited to the University. Looking back, I have learned a lot about the history, the people, and the community as a whole because of my service with YVC. The best way to learn about and build a relationship with someone or something, is to serve its needs, and through my service, I have fallen in love with Cedar City.
Thank you, Kelsie, for your service to youth and the community! The world is a brighter place because of the impact you’re having.
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