Alumni Feature - Anna Kaiser

Anna Kaiser, Communications Coordinator at Open Arms

Where (and which program), when, and why did you join AmeriCorps?

I served from August 2016 to August 2017 at the American Indian Family Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I joined because I wanted to do something adventurous and interesting. For me that meant moving away from Ohio, where I grew up, and experiencing another culture, which the American Indian Family Center provided.

What was your role/what did you do?

My title was Development Specialist. I was very lucky to have been giving the opportunity to pursue my interests through my role, so I tried out the different areas of Development until I settled on Communications and Digital Marketing.

How has serving impacted what you decided to do in life?

Before serving, the plans I had for my career were not working out.  But during my service, I learned how to work in a new field and began pursuing a future in that field. I feel incredibly lucky to have had this experience!

How has your AmeriCorps service supported you?

During my service, AmeriCorps provided a lot of trainings about working in nonprofits, which really helped me make my way in my field. For example, I attended a series of nonprofit communications classes that inspired me to go into Communications in the first place.

What was your favorite part of serving?

Being exposed to another culture. American Indians have a fundamentally opposite experience of being American than I have had. I was very honored to have the opportunity to learn about this culture and history. It challenged my worldview and how I feel about my identity as an American.

Please also give us a little blurb on your current role at Open Arms

I am very new to my role as the Communications Coordinator at Open Arms, so I’m still getting settled in. But so far I have been running our social media accounts, coordinating newsletters and other communications materials, and assisting with our upcoming gala, Moveable Feast.

Recommended spring activity for an AmeriCorps budget:

I would go to Minnehaha Park and walk from the falls, down the creek, and out to the beach and then have a picnic. Or go to Como Zoo!

How to build connections as an AmeriCorps member:

For some people this might be hard, but you simply need to be friendly and get to know people. Be a regular at AmeriCorps events and attend events at other nonprofits. Try to talk to as many people as you can. Nonprofit professionals are friendly so this is easy to do!