Guest post from SA Anders, Director of Operations at CUB and Confluence AmeriCorps Sponsor
In 2011, as Confluence Environmental Center was getting off the ground, we got a call.
"You’re in!" Lara told us, and my colleague Andrea Crosby and I high-fived over the desk. We’d just been told that our application to host an Americorps service member for the 2011-2012 program year had been approved, and our two-week whirlwind of a process had just paid off. We were officially an Americorps sponsor!
For Andrea, a former member of the Peace Corps, and myself, the product of service learning institution Berea College, approaching this opportunity was a no-brainer. The non-profit we work for, the CUB Policy Center, was just starting to expand its mission of outreach, education, and professional development, and Confluence’s Americorps program was primed to partner with us on all three.
With two weeks before members were set to start, we went into recruitment overdrive, reaching out into networks across Oregon and the country to put our position opening in front of potential applicants. And we were amazed at the quality of those candidates—from students completing masters on their way to PhDs, to folks looking for an entry into the world of energy and environment as a second career. It was a tough process, because so many of the candidates were amazing. And what set them apart was their interest in and passion for service—service to the community, to Americorps, and to our mission.
We were so lucky that Emmaline Pohnl, our service member for our first program year, was the perfect fit for our organization and the program we were working to develop. She took initiative, was a leader in her Americorps class, and really elevated CUB’s outreach program to a new, exciting level.
If there’s one thing I would convey to potential and new sponsors of Confluence Environmental Center’s program, it’s this: hosting an Americorps member is a unique opportunity that can bring vigor and enthusiasm to your organization. It’s an amazing opportunity to foster the education and growth of a remarkable Americorps member; Andrea and I have grown through our mentoring. Our organization has increased visibility and credibility through the program done in partnership with Confluence –the numbers on the wall increase week by week as more folks learn about our organization’s programs is deeply satisfying.
Being an Americorps sponsor is an experience not to be missed.
SA Anders is the Director of Operations of the CUB Policy Center; she and her colleague Andrea Crosby, Program Manager, supervise Americorps sponsorship and mentoring. If you have any questions about the sponsor experience, reach out to them at SA@oregoncub.org and Andrea@oregoncub.org.