How does an environmental science graduate get established in a new community and build a bridge to their next professional opportunity? For Jackie Maahs, the answer was a service year with Reading Corps! “Reading Corps was just a really good fit for me,” she explains. “You’re serving in the schools and schools are really the heart of the community.”
Today, Jackie is the Sustainability Coordinator at Concordia College. As she works to implement and promote sustainability on campus, Jackie draws on her experience as a tutor. Building and maintaining relationships with students as a tutor prepared her to do the same with students, faculty and staff at Concordia. “Reading Corps helped me prepare for those one-on-one interactions,” She says. “It’s something I do a lot of in my role today.”
Jackie shares that service was an incredible way to build skills and expand her network. “You get to know teachers and the staff working in the school and those people help you build connections.” She adds, “They’re great references for jobs in the future.”
Although she now spends her days focused on helping Concordia create an environmentally friendly community both on and off campus, she also finds time to advocate for service and encourages more people to serve. Whether as a gap year, to begin a new chapter or simply to try something new and give back she says, “I recommend Reading Corps and Americorps to a lot of students and I think it’s really valuable.”
Looking to make a difference in your community this fall? We’re looking for great people! Visit us at join.readingandmath.org to learn more and search for opportunities near you.