March 10-18 is National AmeriCorps Week!

AmeriCorps Week is a time to celebrate the both the benefits of national service and the volunteers who dedicate their time to making an impact in communities.

In the past two years, 105 AmeriCorps volunteers have served the Teton Science Schools community. Their service focuses on promoting science literacy, developing as educators, and applying their experiences at Teton Science Schools to serve the greater Jackson community.

Each week you can find AmeriCorps volunteers in the field with visiting school groups, managing the madness in the Jackson Campus Dining Lodge, teaching night hikes at the Conservation Research Center or teaching place-based education in other Wyoming communities. In addition to their efforts in Field Education at Teton Science Schools, AmeriCorps volunteers have contributed over 1600 hours of service to the community and worked with 27 organizations.

Recent AmeriCorps alumnus, Makenzie Barron, said the following of her partnership with another organization, “Perspective became valuable when I volunteered with the de-vegetation crew in Grand Teton National Park. While working, I talked with a fellow volunteer about the concept of selflessness—this notion that service is not simply about giving of yourself, but about getting beyond yourself, literally lessening your demands. This conceptualization of service has shifted my perception of what it means to give. Individuals, though greatly intentioned, fall prey to what I think of ‘most syndrome’—to be the most generous, most valuable, most inclusive. But I see a strange value in lessening our presence—in being the least loud or least obvious. Volunteer experiences this summer have challenged me to give through receptivity, rather than through my personal conception of what a place or experience most needs.”

A goal of AmeriCorps week is to connect AmeriCorps members and alums with each other so they feel they are a part of a nationwide effort. Teton Science Schools’ 14th cohort of AmeriCorps volunteers recently partnered with a visiting 10-person AmeriCorps crew and Habitat for Humanity on a build day at the 5-2-5 Hall project. While building decks and painting walls, the AmeriCorps volunteers had the opportunity to get to know one another and learn more about each other’s experiences.

Please give a heartfelt thank you to an AmeriCorps Volunteer today!