Allen Dowell, who is currently serving as an AmeriCorps member with CARITAS in the Richmond area has been named the January 2018 Virginia AmeriCorps Brand Ambassador. Allen reflects on his AmeriCorps journey:
"I was born in Memphis, TN. I am the oldest of two boys and was spoiled rotten from the word 'go.' I grew up around a lot of people, so I have always been a people person. I was pretty much a B student in school; excited about sports. Coming up through junior high and high school I always played football and basketball out of the need of always wanting to be a part of something. As I got older, my life became wayward. I ended up in places that I didn’t have to end up in. I ended up going down the wrong path, and I was on that path for about 20 years. That pathway made me homeless, where I ended up in a shelter in Richmond. That shelter had a 12 step program that was able to help me to combat the demons that were riding my back."
On his road to recover, Allen served as a Transition Peer mentor at CARITAS. "While serving as a Transition Peer mentor I began to really enjoy being of service, after all I was a complete taker when I was under arrest by my disease. The opportunity arrived for more advancement within the CARITAS organization so I jumped at the chance. Little that I knew that the position I was seeking was going to be an AmeriCorps member position. This put me on the front row of servitude. Not only was I going to be able to get outside myself and be a help to my fellow man/woman but I was going to be able to do it as an AmeriCorps member under the CARITAS banner. Being an AmeriCorps member for CARITAS helps me to come in contact with a wide array of people in need. Being an AmeriCorps member enables me to do one of the things I love doing -- which is helping people. I, Allen Dowell, am a proud AmeriCorps member!"
Read more of Allen's story and learn about the CARITAS AmeriCorps program on Facebook and Twitter January 15-19, 2018!