The AmeriCorps Effect

Submitted by WSC AmeriCorps alum Madison Baril, who served with Federal Way Public Schools 2015-16.

I want to start by saying that this year has meant so much to me. The connections I’ve made this year have been monumental in my life. I have laughed, cried, and lived fully more in this year than I ever have in the entirety of my life. I have lived with a purpose, and that purpose has been serving. I’ve served students as a mentor, an academic tutor, and a friend. I have been a support for families and for teachers. I have planted trees, literally and metaphorically. My trees have not grown much, and some are only healing and nourishing themselves, but I am so proud of the growth I have seen, and the growth that will come in the future.

I have been in the lives of several hundred students, and each one has touched my life in the same way I came to [AmeriCorps] hoping to affect them. I can genuinely say, beyond any doubt, that each student I worked with this year has changed for the better…I, too, have changeimage-fwps-barild for the better. Their test scores have gone up, but more than that, they have learned to care for the people who work to make their schooling easier. I have come to see how small acts of love and compassion can multiply in a beautiful and unexplainable way. The people I’ve served have given to me, with intangible gifts, more than I ever could have asked. In return, I have fully given myself to serving this community. I have given my time and my skill. I’ve also given my heart and my life’s passion. Each day, I pour myself into the students I serve, and then they pour into me, simply by appreciating my service.

I am so thankful for the life this [position] has given me, as well as the outlook I’ve attained in the last 10.5 months. The new outlook I have is something I value beyond words.