Public Spirit, March 2013

Hello AmeriCorps! In case you have become dizzied and weary from the blizzards and biting cold, here’s a happy newsflash: we have survived March. And if you attended the events of AmeriCorps Week, you could even say we celebrated March. If did not attend those events, that’s cool, because in this edition of Public Spirit you’ll find a recap of AmeriCorps Week’s awesomeness. You will also find upcoming events, a few feel-good impact stories from fellow AmeriCorps friends, and even some haikus. Join together with Public Spirit, as we usher in April! 

AmeriCorps Week 2013 Shines a Spotlight on Service

Minnesota AmeriCorps members were kept busy from March 9th – March 17th, with lots of InterCorps Council events in honor of the 2013 AmeriCorps Week.

Dodging Hunger!  Dodgeball Tournament

Dodgeball player getting really into his game.

Dodgeball player getting really into his game.

To kick off AmeriCorps Week 2013, ICC’s Social and Networking Committee planned a dodgeball tournament. Eight teams, a total of forty-five people, participated in Dodging Hunger. The tournament combined friendly competition with food shelf donation.

Participants donated 198 items, for a total of almost 200 pounds of food. All food was donated to the Neighborhood House food shelf. There were excellent displays of athleticism along with amazing comebacks from the underdogs, such as the City of St. Paul team, which battled from a sixth place seed in the opening round robin, and all the way to tournament champions! Players dipped, ducked, and dodged their way to success. Congratulations to Allison Kappeyne, Amanda Duhon, Angie Brown, Brittany VanHove, Jon Reynolds, Matt Roen and Willy Tully! The Reading Corps team clenched the title of bringing the most food with 55 items. Congratulations to Nathan Patrash, Peter Pepowski, Kelly Bandman, Courtney Chesher and Matthew Minowitz! 

Donors of breakfast and lunch included: PJ Murphy’s, Dunn Brothers, Cub Foods, Chipotle, Pizza Luce, Boca Chica, and Mojo Monkey’s. Thanks to them for their generosity! Prizes donated by: Science Museum of Minnesota, Cost Cutters, Stacey Fesser, Bob Rohde, John Pontrelli, Debi Dupre, YMCA, Minnesota Literacy Council, and the Minnesota Children’s Museum. Thanks to them, too, for their generosity! Many thanks to the City of Saint Paul and InterCorps Council of Minnesota for partnering with our wonderful host, Neighborhood House, to have the donated use of El Rio Vista Rec. Center!

SuperCharge Your Service Training Day

Members of the AmeriCorps Alumni Panel each imparted their wisdom about their service and professional life after service.

Members of the AmeriCorps Alumni Panel each imparted their wisdom about their service and professional life after service.

SuperCharge Your Service took place on Monday, March 11th. It featured a variety of trainings and discussions, on topics including Social Media and Outreach, Education and Youth Development, Homelessness and Poverty, Budgeting for Your Sanity, Criminal Justice, and an AmeriCorps Alumni Panel. One attendee said the Alumni Panel “should be required for all members half way through their service to start building those relationships to help with life after serving.” The final session, a presentation by keynote speaker Justice Paul Anderson of the Minnesota Supreme Court, was a powerful conclusion to the day’s events. Justice Anderson spoke of his view that being an AmeriCorps member is one of the most patriotic things a person can do in life. He noted his appreciation for his time as a VISTA member. A total of 143 AmeriCorps members attended SuperCharge Your Service.

AmeriCorps Mentorship Program

The Twin Cities AmeriCorps Alums partnered with the ICC to launch a new career mentorship program throughout Minnesota. Thirty current AmeriCorps members attended, and they will be matched with AmeriCorps alumni, nonprofit professionals, educators, and other mentors, according to their career interests. To get involved in this exciting new program, please email Michael Zuniga at for more information.

Service Events

Service Events occurred at the end of AmeriCorps Week. Sixty-nine volunteers served a total of over 216 hours, at five different organizations. Service sites included People Serving People, the Minnesota Children’s Museum, Project for Pride in Living, ARC Value Village, and Second Harvest Heartland.

A lot can happen in 216 hours! Volunteers at Second Harvest labeled and sorted 4,752 pounds of breakfast cereal, to be distributed to local food shelves, soup kitchens, and shelters. Their efforts will provide the equivalent of 3,712 individual meals. And with 20 individuals serving for a total of 75 hours, the Minnesota Children’s Museum had the highest turnout of AmeriCorps volunteers during the week. Kudos to the Children’s Museum volunteers!

Social Events

AmeriCorps Week also provided opportunities for members to socialize and network. Twenty-five members had a blast participating in Trivia Night at Darby’s Bar and Grill. Others took advantage of the chance to meet other Corps members during a social at The Republic. Much appreciation goes to the ICC’s Social and Networking Committee for bringing Corps members together!


The InterCorps Council of Minnesota would like to thank everyone who participated in AmeriCorps Week, as well as the generous partners who made the week possible. Please stayed tuned for information about upcoming trainings, social and networking events, and service opportunities.

AWESOME ICC events from February

Leadership Matters

Maturi played a key role in the success of the University of Minnesota’s athletic department.

Maturi played a key role in the success of the University of Minnesota’s athletic department.

On a blustery February 19th afternoon, AmeriCorps members came together to hear Joel Maturi, former Athletic Director of the University of Minnesota, share his experiences and wisdom on leadership.  Mr. Maturi, a dynamic and enthusiastic speaker, told an audience of 30 AmeriCorps members about his personal journey in developing leadership skills that contributed to his success. This inspirational lecture, organized by the Training and Education Committee of the ICC, was held inside the TCF Bank Stadium, an appropriate location, as Maturi was key in securing public and private funding for the construction of TCF Bank Stadium. Maturi was an integral player in the development of the U of M athletics.  Under Maturi’s direction, from 2002 to 2012, the U of M won seven national titles in four different sports. Maturi and then newly-hired Coach, Tubby Smith, turned around the Men’s basketball program.

“My personal definition of success is your self-satisfaction in knowing you did your very best in getting the job done,” Maturi said.  “It’s the process—the journey, that’s most important.”

Other gold nuggets of advice that Maturi shared with the audience included using your strengths, but recognizing and improving your weaknesses: To “be truly great, learn to do things well that you don’t really like to do,” Maturi advised.  The qualities that Maturi admires and has honed from his favorite leaders include planning for tomorrow and recognizing and delegating people to the “right fit in the right places.”

AmeriCorps attendee Dana Goetsch reflected on this lecture, “My biggest take away was when the speaker said, ‘You have to lead yourself before you can lead others.’ As an AmeriCorps member, I have to have the confidence in myself to lead and know I can make an impact before I can serve others.”

Joel Maturi is a shining example of leadership and proved a thought-provoking speaker to whom we are very grateful for this opportunity.

“Live for Five” Networking Event

On February 26th around 40 AmeriCorps members from different branches of AmeriCorps gathered in St. Paul for the “Live for Five” Networking Event.  The event, organized by the InterCorps Council Social and Networking Committee, was modeled after the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network’s “Five Minutes in Hell,” in which brave presenters sign up to give a 5-minute presentation on topics they’re passionate about.

The nine fabulous AmeriCorps members who presented at “Live for Five” spoke to their peers about a range of topics—from cyborgs, to cultural literacy and intellectual honesty, to beating sleepiness.  One of the highlights of the evening was a presentation on Haikus by Amanda Duhon.  During the second half of her presentation she asked the audience to quickly write their own haikus—with some fabulous results!  Check out some haikus, written by current AmeriCorps members!

Minnesota nice

Freezing cold, lakes, snow, and ice

Minnesota love


Minnesota is

Home of Joe Mauer and friends

Go Twins, don’t blow it


Oh where, oh where, oh

Where do I want to go to,

I think I’ll stay right here


Arizona, what

Were they thinking? You don’t have

Water. Only death.


Hawaii lovely

Pineapples and guava

Keep growing my sweet


Idaho Taters

Golden plump deliciousness

We hardly know thee


Oh Colorado

You were my PSO site

Only saw hotel

Upcoming Events, to make the happy Spring months even brighter!

Career Fair In June—Brought To You By The Social And Networking Committee!

Come to the AmeriCorps Career Fair! (Photo credit:: New York Senate career fair campaign)

Come to the AmeriCorps Career Fair!
(Photo credit:: New York Senate career fair campaign)

Social and Networking Committee is putting together a career fair for AmeriCorps members. At this point in the planning process, they want your input! Please click hereto respond to the two-question survey. Help SoNet bring what you want in a career fair.

Look Out!—For  Service Opportunities In May!

The Service Committee is currently in the process of organizing a day of service in May. The committee is hoping to have a variety of projects outdoors so members can volunteer in their community and enjoy the Spring weather. More information will be posted on the ICC website, (here!) on the Upcoming Events page, in the next couple of weeks.

AmeriCorps Works! …What does it do? 

Feel-good stories of service impact

For this edition of Public Spirit, CoCo asked AmeriCorps members what their impact is, or what service-related impact they are especially proud of. This is a feel-good read—it is meant to add depth to the AmeriCorps Week slogan, “AmeriCorps Works!” The first portion contains slightly longer description from a few CoCo members. The latter portion contains little blurbs from various AmeriCorps members. Click here, or on the title above, to read them, and enjoy.


Attn: St. Paul AmeriCorps Members

Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service

The City of St. Paul wants to celebrate your commitment to service!

St. Paul AmeriCorps Recognition

St. Paul AmeriCorps Recognition

Tuesday, April 9th is the first ever Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service, and VISTA leader Angie Brown, among other AmeriCorps members and City staff at the office of Mayor Chris Coleman of Saint Paul, are making a ton of excellent things happen that day for service members!  The Mayor will visit three locations in Saint Paul of both AmeriCorps and Senior Corps sites, and will end the day with a celebration for service members at Summit Brewery. There will be free food and an address by the Mayor and dignitaries of Saint Paul. Congratulations!

If you are a St. Paul AmeriCorps member, the city of St. Paul wants you at this celebration! The event has a capacity of 150 people. If you want to attend, sign up using the Eventbrite link below.

Where: Summit Brewery

When: 5pm-7pm on Tuesday, April 9th (program at 5:30)

What: free food, dancing unicorns, juggling leprechauns, and small turquoise happy beans.

Who: Hopefully every last AmeriCorps and Senior Corps member in Saint Paul!

Member Registration: