by Claire Miller
Anthony Abner started off his college career at Georgia State University as an African-American studies major, but he wasn’t sure where he wanted his career path to take him.
That is, until Susan Crim McClendon, former assistant director of the College of Education’s Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence, suggested he look into joining AmeriCorps, a national organization that helps people find volunteer opportunities through its network of partnerships with other nonprofit groups.
“I had no idea what I wanted to do with my career but when I had the chance to work in schools, I figured out that I had a passion for teaching,” said Abner, who spent two years volunteering at Brown Middle School in Atlanta through AmeriCorps and plans to apply to a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program in the College of Education after he graduates in 2012. “I love working with the kids – you have the challenge of teaching them but you also learn humility when you let them teach you.”
Abner was one of several AmeriCorps members at GSU who attended the AmeriCorps Opening Day celebration on Oct. 21.
The celebration, which took place in the COE, allowed AmeriCorps members on campus to meet and get to know each other better – a rarity for a program where participants spend most of their days volunteering in schools across the metro-Atlanta area.
In addition to networking with their fellow members, they also spent the afternoon developing school projects for teachers who work with Jumpstart, a national nonprofit organization that places college students and volunteers at early learning centers to help teach language and literacy skills.
It’s these service projects that AmeriCorps members like Brittney Lott believe make a difference in the Atlanta area.
“Service programs like AmeriCorps are important because if those volunteers didn’t help, who would?” she said.
For more information about AmeriCorps programs in Georgia, click here.