Michigan's AmeriCorps Alum Spotlight
Darin Crosby was one of six original AmeriCorps members who served at Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids during the 2007-08 program year. Following his term of service, Darin was offered a job with Goodwill where he is still employed today as the Business Relations Manager, overseeing the Business Engagement Department of Goodwill's Employment Services.
The Goodwill Grand Rapids AmeriCorps Partnership utilizes AmeriCorps members to expand and enhance Goodwill services by providing assistance to program participants in the form of career assessments, individual planning and goal setting, and assistance with identifying and obtaining needed supports. Members provide instruction, career services, resource navigation, and support to participants.
“AmeriCorps started my career in the nonprofit sector,” Darin stated. “I had previously worked in a capacity that I didn’t find fulfilling and wanted a change. As an AmeriCorps member I learned that I personally value working with people, especially under the Goodwill name. I have been with the organization now for nine years.”
Darin was not familiar with AmeriCorps before becoming a member, but found that his year of service opened the door to both career and educational opportunities. “Serving in AmeriCorps not only led to rewarding work in the nonprofit sector, but it also provided an education award that allowed me to go back to school and complete my undergrad. I also had an opportunity to be an AmeriCorps site supervisor and program director after my service, so I’ve come to truly value the opportunities that emerge from being an AmeriCorps member and having a cohort in the Goodwill organization.”
Darin’s current role with Goodwill focuses on building partnerships with businesses in the community and advocating for sustainable employment solutions for their service recipients. Although he no longer wears the big “A” daily, Darin continues to promote a spirit of service and “get things done” in the Greater Grand Rapids area.
“I believe the spirit of service is why I’ve stayed with Goodwill since my AmeriCorps term ended. I’ve learned that service and the spirit of giving back doesn’t fit into a certain box. Although I enjoy business and finance, I’ve learned that I can still utilize those skills and work to improve the lives of people in our community. I continue to promote that idea in my department and organization, as well as advocate for our AmeriCorps program.”