WSC member Josef removing blackberry bushes with a lopper

My name is Josef, and I am an AmeriCorps member serving with the City of Vancouver Parks and recreation department as a public spaces steward through the Washington Service Corps. I coordinate and facilitate volunteer programs with an emphasis on invasive plant species removal from Vancouver’s parks and public spaces. I would like to highlight one particular project I worked on that ended up being really successful even though we encountered several bumps along the way.

Vancouver hosts a Father Daughter ball every year to celebrate the bond between parent and child. This year the site had to change from the Pearson Hangar at Fort Vancouver because of the government shutdown, and the event was held at Hudson’s Bay High School instead. While it was primarily a dance, I helped manage a small volunteer team to work different stations for the event. There was food, temporary tattoos, and a professional photographer. During the first dance, the photographer encountered some technical issues, and the line behind the photography station started to build and cause restlessness among the guests. 

Auditorium decorated for While this is not a story about the environment or even AmeriCorps, I know that without being in this position I would never have had the opportunity to meet such interesting and engaging people. AmeriCorps service has introduced me to so many wonderful experiences, and I am excited to continue trying to tackle the new challenges that my service will throw my way. ancouver father daughter ball

One of the volunteers, Vada, who was supporting the photographer called her boyfriend and had him show up to the dance. This young man offered technical support and got the photography station up and running and then left as quickly as he arrived. Vada ended up staying until the very end of the event which was passed her assigned volunteer shift, and she returned the next day to volunteer for an additional nine hours!

While this is not a story about the environment or even AmeriCorps, I know that without being in this position I would never have had the opportunity to meet such interesting and engaging people. AmeriCorps service has introduced me to so many wonderful experiences, and I am excited to continue trying to tackle the new challenges that my service will throw my way. 

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