May June Public Spirit 2017

Closing Remarks from our ICC Members

by Raquel MacSwain

Throughout this year, our ICC service members have grown dramatically in their skills and as a group. The hard work and dedication that each and every one of us put in made this year possible. A special shout out to all of our event attendees! You made our events successful!

ICC Members Highlights:


Anonymous quotes from our End of the Year Feedback Survey for ICC:

“The ICC helped me a lot by giving me some very rewarding leadership experience.”

“We had great communication, and I could tell that we enjoyed the work we did and making a

difference in the AmeriCorps community.”

“Don't be afraid to think big. With the proper support of the committee and the council there is nothing that cannot get done. So be sure to ask for those extra hands that are always needed. Above everything else, do not stress yourself out.”

Vice President Amara Robinson for the ICC year:

“I have been so happy with my experience on the ICC. I feel fortunate to have participated in a council like this with people who are driven, creative, and bright. The ICC tried many new events this year and really made the council their own. Every committee branched out and tried something new, which allowed us to impact and engage more AmeriCorps members, and more community members. I know that it takes so much courage and planning to try something new, and that speaks to the quality and character of our members. I gained so much professionally and personally serving as the Vice President, and I was lucky to serve with all of these amazing people. I cannot wait to see what happens next year with the council!”

As stated before, none of this would have been possible without passionate AmeriCorps members coming together to show their appreciation for not only AmeriCorps, but the surrounding communities as well!

If you’re interested in being a member on the InterCorps Council next year, make sure to connect with your service site for more details on how to get involved!

Corps Connections success!

Corps Connections was a great success! There were 64 people in attendance including 44 Corps members and 20 community members. With many networking opportunities, attendees walked away feeling like the event helped them to make new connections in a comfortable environment.

"Sometimes I am shy when it comes to networking, but this event made it feel easier. I got some really good insight in a relaxed atmosphere."

“I liked that I wasn't pressured to talk to a ton of people and wasn't required to stay a long time. It was my first networking event and I was more comfortable interacting just a little.”

Many thanks to everyone who attended!

AmeriCorps Highlight- Leah Weston

For the Member Spotlight of our last Public Spirit of 2016-17, we turn to Leah Weston. Leah is completing a first year as a Minnesota GreenCorps – Stormwater Track member in Faribault, Minnesota. She chose to serve a gap year between completing college and graduate school in restoration ecology.

Her project emphasis has been on improving outreach and education for handling stormwater and developing rain gardens. One success involved a family, new to Minnesota, receiving a grant to remove their grass and put in a rain garden this summer to help reduce untreated runoff.

“AmeriCorps has shown me the real value in education and has taught me how to communicate complex, technical topics in basic, easily understandable language. So often, scientists talk over everyone’s heads, assuming people know the language they are using. I want to help bridge the communication gap between scientists and non-scientists. AmeriCorps has helped me develop those skills.”

In addition to her GreenCorps position, Leah served as an ICC Ambassador. “I feel I have developed connections and gained insight into AmeriCorps programs more than I would if I had not been a member of the ICC. It has helped me connect to the broader, service-oriented mission of AmeriCorps, which is so important in a rural area.”

Leah sends a shout out to her fellow ambassadors for their support, especially to Amara Robinson and Rachael Snavely for helping her clean 42 bags of trash from a Faribault creek.

Shout out to the ICC Ambassadors!

We asked the ICC ambassadors a few questions, including what they liked about the ICC to wrap up the year. A big thank you to the ambassadors; your outreach and service this year was incredible. Cheers to you!

1. What is the role of an ambassador and what has been your favorite part of that role?

The role of an InterCorps Council Ambassador is to serve as a point of contact and representative in greater Minnesota for current, future, and past AmeriCorps members. Educating the public and supporting recruitment efforts that engage interest in AmeriCorps service is an important responsibility in our local communities.

My favorite part of being an ICC Ambassador has been connecting with other AmeriCorps members who are serving a variety of sites and capacities. There are so many different opportunities for people to participate in AmeriCorps in areas that drive their own interests and future goals, while serving Minnesota.

2. What is the purpose of this outreach?

The ambassadors do a lot of outreach to spread the word about AmeriCorps programs and events to bring everyone together!  The purpose of outreach events is to inform and engage the community about national service, the opportunities and benefits for those who dedicate a year or more to service, and to be leaders in our community.

3. How has the ICC helped you grow?

The ICC has supported me in finding other AmeriCorps members who have similar goals, challenges, and outcomes of their service year. ICC has been a network of support during my service year and I hope as an Ambassador my experience and knowledge as also able to support others in their service year!

What I like about the ICC is the ability to see how our diverse roles can work together to accomplish even more. I've learned more about the other AmeriCorps programs just by being an ambassador--and honestly it's made me want to try them all out! I wish there was no maximum limit on service so I could spend a year in each program, but that's not going to happen just yet. :)

4. Where are you located for your service and what is the most fun thing to do there?

I am located in Grand Rapids, MN. The arts community in Grand Rapids is vibrant and growing so going to events at the MacRostie Art Gallery, the Reif Center, or at Itasca Community College has been fantastic!

I have been a K-Focus Reading Corps tutor at Parker Elementary in Elk River for the past two years. I think the most fun thing to do is to build relationships with the kids I service and to keep track of their success stories (as well as the funny things kindergarteners will say from time to time!)

Shout outs from an ICC ambassador:

I want to thank Amara for always hosting our monthly conference calls for us ambassadors. She is the essence of bubbly enthusiasm and empathy, and she has been a most supportive asset. t's been a really good experience. I would highly recommend it.

If your time of service will be ending, please don't forget to become registered as an AmeriCorps alumni. Alumni can still participate in ICC and other team building events. Don't forget to switch your Public Spirit subscription to your permanent email address to stay on top of future events.