AmeriCorps in Action

Math Corps tutor Dan Carlson

Continuing a Lifetime of Service

For retired police officer Dan Carlson, giving back to the community is more than just a weekend hobby. With 30 years of experience in law enforcement, Dan devoted his career to service. Now as a Math Corps tutor at Staples-Motley Middle School, he’s found a whole new way to give back!

“After my retirement from public safety, I found I had a great amount of time to fill. You can only do so much fishing, golfing and relaxing,” Dan says. “I felt the need to continue serving my community, but in a different way.”

He first got to know Reading Corps through his daughter Brianna Mielke, who serves as a Reading Corps tutor. She spoke highly of the program and Dan decided to give Math Corps a try.

Throughout his first year of service, he’s learned a lot about himself and his school, but what he really enjoys is the interaction with his students. The best part? Seeing students light up when a concept finally clicks.

And the benefits for Dan don’t end there—whether it’s with a simple thank you, a smile or an exciting story they’ve shared, Dan’s students, he says, help him stay young at heart.

While serving in the 3-day a week position, Dan has found the perfect balance between serving the community he loves and still finding time to enjoy all the benefits of retired life. Throughout his career—and now his retirement—he’s approached everything he does with a service mindset, and hopes others will do the same.

“You don’t have to be a ‘math person’ to do Math Corps—I’m not,” Dan explains. “You just need to be willing to help students who need that little extra to get them back up to where they need to be.”

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