June Urdy: Career Navigator, Mott Workforce & Economic Development
AmeriCorps Program: Pathways to Employment MNA VISTA
Program Years: 2018, 2019, 2020
Host Site: Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, Mott Workforce and Economic Development
Community Challenges Addressed: Education
Communities Served: 6th-8th Grade Girls in Flint, Senior Citizens in Flint
How did you learn about AmeriCorps and your service program?
“I was job hunting and it popped up. I thought 'Wow, that’s amazing. That’s like a dream job.'”
Why did you join AmeriCorps and more specifically, your host site?
“When I first discovered AmeriCorps, I thought, “Oh my gosh, this looks amazing!” I wanted to jump right in it but you had to write this essay about why you wanted to do it and for some reason that just stopped me in my tracks. But I never forgot about it. So when I decided (that I could no longer do the job I was doing), I went back and looked it up and said I can write this. "Why do I want to volunteer?" It’s like that’s my life, that’s my joy.
I applied to lots of different places and was interviewed at other local programs. But when it came to Girl Scouts, I was a Girl Scout. My mom was a Girl Scout. I was a leader. I’m now a Life Scout, a lifetime member. Girl Scouting was really important for me as a kid in a situation of poverty. To be able to contribute to that; it was fantastic.”
What did you do during your service year?
“I was really excited about some of the things I created. I put together a sewing class. I found a teacher and facilitated a program I called "Sewing for Service." I’m really proud of that. Not only was a great fun but it was one of those activities that usually falls by the wayside. These kids were so excited that they got to sew pillowcases for themselves and for someone else. They got to keep one and then the other one got donated to Whaley. They were so excited about making something for other kids.
I also put together a webinar that was geared to 6th-8th grade girls to start thinking about, “What do I after high school? What are my choices? What are my options?” I got to highlight former Girl Scouts: Taylor Swift, Michelle Obama, Madeline Albright, Hillary Clinton. It’s amazing the women who are former Girl Scouts. I was able to let the girls know that there are so many options available to them, but they can’t wait until high school. They’ve got to thinking about this stuff now. I was really proud of that because that is something that can be used for years to come.”
What do you believe you accomplished during your service year?
“It was bringing information and making connections. I think I helped make connections (for my host sites).”
What types of connections have you built in Flint because of your service year?
“I got to build even more connections (through my service year). I’ve been in the community a long time. I got to do activities and then got to connect with boots on the ground, folks who are embedded, deeply connected, and doing amazing things in our community that I wouldn’t have met otherwise because of the Accelerator and because of the activities that we did there. That's what makes the city so resilient. People don’t always see but there are a whole lot of folks working hard to keep this place going.”
How has your year of service taken you to where you are now?
“It got me to a job and that was huge. I was hoping that by being connected at Mott Workforce & Economic Development that I would find something that was available. I never dreamed that I would be able to work for Mott Community College. It was beyond my thoughts and expectations. To me, it’s just still incredible that I was able to do that.
But again, they say over and over, this is a year-long job interview. Keep that in mind that if they are looking for someone or they may have positions open, what you do during that year of service can really make a difference.”
What advice would you give other people interested in doing a year of service?
“Do it. Do it. If you even think you are interested, do it. It will be the most incredible year of your life. It will be the toughest, most frustrating, and the most rewarding thing you will do. You’re going to do so much for yourself and your community.”