Youth Achievement AmeriCorps (YAA) members focus on getting things done in East Central Iowa by strengthening our communities, encouraging responsibility, expanding opportunity, and serving to provide solutions. Tommy is a second year AmeriCorps member who lives our motto every day. His impact on the lives of children he serves is a testament to how he has become a true leader!
Two years of AmeriCorps! It's difficult to fathom that my second year serving with YAA is ending. It seems like only yesterday I was packing everything I could in my car to move from Kansas to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. My time spent with YAA, Kids on Course, United Way, and a cast of middle school students have made for the fullest, quickest two years of my life.
Before my life in Iowa, I worked as a Head Start Preschool teacher. When I discovered AmeriCorps, I thought it would be the perfect chance to continue helping young students in a new community. Plus, it had been awhile since my days hitchhiking through national parks, so I was overdue for an adventure.
I moved from Kansas for that adventure; I stayed in Iowa for the people. When someone asks why I serve as a YAA member, the answer is always the people. During the flood in Cedar Rapids this past fall, AmeriCorps members bagged sand until sunset instead of taking a break. AmeriCorps brings food and books into homes, connects mentors and friends at the lunch table, and gives young minds a helping hand with math and reading — all to make a difference in our community.
I am more grateful than I can express for my time in YAA and Cedar Rapids. All I can do is hope to successfully serve the community again as the AmeriCorps VISTA for United Way of East Central Iowa. That’s right, Cedar Rapids: one more year of AmeriCorps!
—Tommy Govert, May 2017