Building a Career on the Foundation of AmeriCorps
Hundreds of inspiring people have served as AmeriCorps members through Youth Volunteer Corps over the last two decades. These individuals take a term of service to work alongside our Youth Volunteers, planning projects, recruiting new volunteers, supervising youth on projects and more. They’re changing lives through their service, and often they find their own lives have been transformed too.
In honor of AmeriCorps Week, we’re featuring one of these inspiring people who has helped introduce countless youth to the joy of service. Victoria Naquin served as an AmeriCorps member with YVC of Baton Rouge, LA, from 2014-2015. She loved her service so much (and proved she was a natural at leading volunteers!) that she was hired on by the Capital Area United Way that hosts the local YVC program. Now she is running the YVC program and supervising two AmeriCorps members herself.
Victoria now serves as Dow Corporate Volunteer Manager, working with Dow and Capital Area United Way to plan volunteer projects for Dow employees. “This role is very similar to my former YVC AmeriCorps team leader role,” she says. “I plan projects, recruit volunteers, and attend projects to make sure things run smoothly.”
She also serves as the Program Director for the YVC program that the United Way hosts, which includes supervising the two current AmeriCorps members. When Victoria started as an AmeriCorps member in the fall of 2014, the YVC of Baton Rouge program had been in transition and lacked full-time staff dedication. During her year of service, she built the program back up, planned regular projects, met with the Youth Advisory Board, and recruited new volunteers.
“I started the YVC program back up, and now Emerald and Simone (our two current AmeriCorps members) get to expand the program and bring us to new heights, like our newly achieved Gold Level YVC Program!” she says. YVC of Baton Rouge was recently named one of the top YVC programs in the YVC Network through the Gold Level honor.
Victoria’s AmeriCorps term with YVC was actually her second AmeriCorps experience. After graduating from Louisiana State University as a fitness major, she spent the summer in the Smoky Mountains as an AmeriCorps member with American Conservation Experience (ACE). She spent three months building rock staircases in the national park, living in a tent and hiking 1.5 miles each day to the work site. “When I finished my first term of service I wanted to keep serving,” she says.
Even though her two terms with AmeriCorps were vastly different, they both helped give her experience that’s been crucial in launching her career. “AmeriCorps helped me to develop a wide range of both personal and professional skills that I use in my career on a daily basis,” she says.
“I took a chance with ACE because I love being outside and surrounded by nature,” she says. “It was a great experience. I now have friends around the country and around the world because of ACE. I gained a whole new experience and another family when I joined YVC. What will YOUR AmeriCorps story be? Where will YOU serve and who will YOU meet?”