Rebecca, age 22.

Host site: Clark County Food Bank in Vancouver, WA

“Before moving here for this position, I worked as a dietary aide at a nursing home in Massachusetts. This was my plan for the year, but after working there for a week or two, I realized it wasn’t something I wanted to do. I wanted to work specifically in food and nutrition. My searches on Google and LinkedIn weren’t yielding the results I wanted. Fortunately, I remembered about the AmeriCorps program. I’d served before, about two years ago, during the summer between my sophomore and junior year of college, and the experience was an influential period in my life. I was excited when I found the position at the Clark County Food Bank. I’ve always been passionate about nutrition since I was in high school—as a runner and athlete, I learned early on how food is fuel and can influence performance.

Not only is the work we’re doing at Clark County Food Bank necessary to address the community’s needs, but I’m also gaining valuable experience in community nutrition, which will help me in my goal to become a registered dietitian. I love to interact with the racially and ethnically diverse community members we’re serving. It’s rewarding. As a person of color myself, I know it’s critical to have diversity and equity at the forefront of everything we’re doing, especially with so many systemic issues and policies in our country that are exclusionary. It’s important to be inclusive and mindful about the communities we’re serving and their needs. As a nutrition educator, I’m learning about developing, planning, and implementing culturally relevant nutrition classes for our community members. I love it—our site coordinator allows us to be flexible and creative with the cooking lessons we’re planning.

I’ve enjoyed it so far. You get to experience new things, meet new people, and grow in the field. Service allows for self-growth and reflection.”

 

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