We got a lot of good feedback on our guest post from AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) member Tara McKenzie. We have quite a few of these dedicated people offering a year of service in our communities. Today, we caught up with George Shardlow, an AmeriCorps*VISTA member who is working to connect community associations in Greater Homewood to valuable resources for strengthening neighborhoods. Read on to hear his story, and make sure to leave something in the comments to let him know what he can’t miss during his stay in Charm City!
Over the course of my time there, these disciplines began to bleed together and, what’s more, manifest themselves in tangible ways. Working for the Obama campaign during the caucus enabled me to not only ponder Democracy in my head, but also feel it in my feet, sore from canvassing, and an ear, warm from having a phone pressed against it. Teaching ESL to migrant workers from the local meat plant (the eventual site of the largest immigration raid in US history) and travelling to Spain and Latin America showed me the power of language to build bonds between people from completely different backgrounds. Hearing the complaints of African American students dealing with the alienation that comes with being the only people with darker skin amidst a sea of Olsons, Larsons, and Nelsons helped me to be mindful that race is not a relic of history, but rather an irrefutable reality of the present age.
Nonetheless, when my four years were done, I knew it was time to get out and see more of the world.