AmeriCorps experience for Chelsee

Chelsee Barrett, Volunteer and Program Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Central Lane

The Spring semester before I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Urban Ecology, I began looking for jobs in my field. Of course, any job that was remotely interesting had experience requirements that no 22-year-old could possibly possess. During my freshman year, I completed a 300 hour AmeriCorps service term it familiarized me with the program benefits. Combing through AmeriCorps opportunities there were open positions at Habitat for Humanity – a non-profit which builds and advocates for affordable housing-it was perfect! I accepted a position in Port Townsend, WA at Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County as a Construction Crew Leader. I learned how to effectively communicate and train a wide variety of people. Not only do I understand the basic steps of how to build a house, I am able to network with an extensive range of incredible people.

During the ten and a half month term, I witnessed 5 families move into their forever home not only changing their lives, but changing mine. Habitat for Humanity provides value for everyone-the volunteer, the Habitat partner, the site supervisor. Everyone who shows up on the build site regardless of skillset or lack there of you are always of value. After my service term ended, I knew I wanted to stay within the Habitat family. Thanks to my AmeriCorps experience, I gained the skills necessary to advance my career and am now the Volunteer and Program Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Central Lane.