1. What first drew you to this AmeriCorps position at the Literacy Center?
I was referred to AmeriCorps by my mentor at Calvin College, who knows about my passion for racial justice. I chose the Bilingual Learner Support Advocate position because I would be able to speak Spanish and interact with learners, continue my work with data, and be in an academic environment, which would utilize my strengths.
2. What is your favorite part about the position?
I enjoy the relationships/coordinating aspect of my position. I work with instructors to ensure that we have collected all the correct data by delegating and by visiting schools whenever necessary. Our team works together very well, and it’s been satisfying to see everything get done efficiently and effectively.
3. How would you describe a typical day (if there is such a thing)?
The position has been much broader than I originally anticipated, but I’ve enjoyed the challenge because it’s kept me on my toes and engaged in the work. The majority of my time is data work- entering attendance, updating learner information, or creating reports. Other times, I’m on the phone with learners to inform them about a class schedule change or to inquire as to why they’ve missed class. If instructors need help gathering information in one of their classes, I’ll attend the class to administer tests or explain something in Spanish. I’m also the Recruitment & Outreach Chair on the West Michigan AmeriCorps Board, so I often go off-site to table or attend networking events. In summary- my position is multi-faceted, and I’m often switching between tasks according to priority.
4. What would you say to someone who is interested in this AmeriCorps position?
I would say that this position is for someone who can balance professional responsibility and emotional commitment to the community. Although data requires one to be calculated and thorough, the Bilingual Learner Support Advocate must also have social sensitivity. The person in this position has to view every learner as not only a profile in a database, but also a person with inherent value and the potential to enrich our Literacy Center community. Because of the analytical nature of data work, the Learner Support Advocate must temper a love with data with a genuine appreciation for the people in our classes.
Apply for the AmeriCorps Bilingual Learner Support Advocate online at www.literacycenterwm.org/about-us/careers.