Learning through Service with AmeriCorps

Member Claire serves at Art Barn School of Art

AmeriCorps member Claire has always been passionate about art. She graduated from the American Academy of Art with a bachelor’s in fine art, specializing in watercolor. Upon graduation, Claire wasn’t quite sure the path she wanted to take. Little did she know that her experience with art could translate across different fields, and that AmeriCorps would help her put her passion into action.

AmeriCorps is an organization that recruits skilled individuals for paid service terms in the community. There is a wide variety of service opportunities available depending on an individual’s interests and talents. The program provides an unmatched experience working with your community, countless opportunities for networking and professional development, and a helping hand for organizations in need. Not to mention they also provide the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to pay for student loans upon completion of an AmeriCorps term.

For Claire’s first AmeriCorps term, she was placed at the Art Barn School of Art in Valparaiso, Indiana where she was tasked with cataloging artwork. Claire also helped run art classes, visits, and other programs.

After completion of that term, Claire transitioned to serve as the Volunteer Coordinator at Porter County Museum. Porter County Museum is dedicated to providing various exhibits that showcase the history of Porter County. As volunteer coordinator, Claire works directly with the community to make sure that every person who experiences the Porter County Museum has an enjoyable time. Claire said, “The museum provides many different learning and volunteer opportunities that have helped grow my interest and have pushed me in different ways.” Claire reports that her greatest struggle in her position is finding volunteers to fill certain positions. Different volunteer positions include museum greater, collections assistant, tour guide, and special events assistant.

United Way of Porter County has partnered with AmeriCorps to provide different service opportunities to the community. These opportunities include tutoring and mentoring disadvantaged youth, managing or operating after school programs, helping communities respond to disasters, and so much more! Through United Way, AmeriCorps further strengthens the Porter County community by connecting individuals to positions they are interested in and can make a lasting impact.

Learn more about the Art Barn School of Art and the Porter County Museum.

For more information about the United Way of Porter County-AmeriCorps partnership, visit our page or contact Maddie Grimm, AmeriCorps Director at maddie@unitedwaypc.org or 219.464.3583, ext. 105.

Special thanks to Evonne Le, Hayley Krulik, Cameron Nenn, Holly Reuss and Kathryn Ruttke for this story.

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