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“It is the best thing I could have done. It has opened so many doors.”

Celebrating National AmeriCorps Week: Member Spotlight

Posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2018 by Lizzie Sarah Biddle. Tags: , , , ,
AmeriCorps Member Amber Handy and CNNC Staff Member Natacha Nikokeza hard at work

Ever wondered what it takes to become a citizen of the United States?

Amber can show you. In her role as an AmeriCorps member, she teaches citizenship classes and helps people get ready for the naturalization test.

Those applying for citizenship must know history, civics, as well as, reading and writing in English. She uses special materials from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) based curriculum, designed to strengthen English skills while helping participants prepare for the test.

For Amber, it is pure joy. She loves the way class members develop friendships. “They take care of each other. When someone new comes to class, they reach out and share materials, even if they don’t speak the same language. The class becomes a family.” Amber’s leadership and welcoming nature make this happen.

Amber Handy is one of our amazing AmeriCorps members. Her placement at the CNNC combines her desire to serve and her passion for building relationships. Amber meets people from all over the world at the Glen Haven Community Center. Her circle includes families from Burma, Syria, Bhutan, Vietnam, Sudan, and Iraq. Listening and connecting with them is her gift.

Not only do her students feel like family, but Amber has found the AmeriCorps community to be equally strong. “When you get a group of people together who want to serve, you get this thread that bonds us.”

With varied schedules, Amber and the other members serving at her site, do not always see each other. But when they gather, the team is supportive and tight knit. “It’s almost like we are best friends.”

The AmeriCorps family has given Amber a place to serve, using her gifts and talents.

“It is the best thing I could have done. It has opened so many doors. I’m going to do it next year, too.”

Apply now to become an AmeriCorps ACCESS Member, like Amber for the 2018-2019 program year.

Support AmeriCorps members like Amber with a gift to the CNNC.