As Virginia’s AmeriCorps Ambassador for May 2018, Cassy is excited to share her story and show what it is like to serve as an AmeriCorps member. Cassy, an AmeriCorps member with Goodskills Literacy Corps, says all her life she has always loved helping other people, so when she was given the chance to serve for AmeriCorps, she jumped at it as fast as possible. Growing up in Winchester, Cassy says she was able to relate to individuals with learning challenges. “I myself have learning disabilities and limitations that have allowed me to understand and better help teachers understand,” she says. “When I was in elementary school helping with the kindergartners, I remember a boy asking me if I would play ‘sheckers.’ After I realized he meant to say ‘checkers,’ I mentioned him to my speech teacher and found out he couldn’t say the ‘ch’ sound. It took a year, but by the time the school year ended, he was able to say ‘checkers.'” She says that this was one of the first of many experiences which paved her path to national service.
“I love helping people. I first started at Goodwill about two years ago and my role their helped me grow and improve myself. I learned about different people’s limitations and how to help each one differently or as needed. ” She explains, “During my time in the (Rappahannock Goodwill) Pocessing area I felt the need to step outside my box. I asked to learn different areas. With each new experience, I also learned how to accept change. When I was first approached about Americorps, I was excited! I knew I would be able to help people in my community. I had no idea that my AmeriCorps experience would improve my leadership skills.” She recalls, “I had been told many times at work and in school that I had leadership qualities, and every time I responded that those individuals were mistaken. Now, I am finding that they saw potential in me that I never saw.”
Cassy says she has learned so much in the short time she has been with AmeriCorps. “I would encourage anybody that is looking to serve their community and anyone who loves helping others to check out AmeriCorps and see what they can do to get involved in helping others!”