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. I made it through that program and found a job opportunity through that program and AmeriCorps. Once again, I find myself being a part of something. Being an AmeriCorps member is a great way for me to get back in touch with my roots. I enjoy people from all nationalities. 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!"