Michigan's AmeriCorps Alum Spotlight

MI AmeriCorps Alum Spotlight - September 2016: Katelyn Kovalik, Heart of West MI United Way

After graduating from Grand Valley State University with a degree in Advertising & Public Relations in 2012, Katelyn Kovalik served a year with the AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) Pacific Region FEMA Corps. She then returned to Michigan where she served another year as an AmeriCorps VISTA through the Michigan Nonprofit Association at Heart of West Michigan United Way. During her VISTA term, Katelyn served as the VISTA representative on the Michigan’s AmeriCorps LeaderCorps, which provides an opportunity AmeriCorps members to serve in a leadership role as a liaison between their team and the Michigan Community Service Commission. She also served as an Alum representative for the 2015-16 LeaderCorps. 

“Both AmeriCorps service terms meant a great deal to me; it felt like I was simultaneously serving my country and my community,” Katelyn stated. “Without my AmeriCorps experience, I wouldn’t have been introduced to the nonprofit and service sector the way I was, and never would have found a professional home here.”

Following her VISTA service, Katelyn was hired by Heart of West Michigan United Way as the Volunteer Center Program Coordinator, and has since been promoted to the Volunteer Center Manager.

“As the Volunteer Center Manager, my role is dedicated to connecting people to opportunities to serve. Currently, I am working on Day of Caring, which is an annual event that engages volunteers in group service projects at agencies across Kent County. Though most projects are comprised by groups of coworkers from our partner companies, we are excited to have a project open to the public this year! Over 100 volunteers are invited to come to the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding in Rockford on Friday, September 16th. People can learn more and sign up by visiting this webpage: https://dayofcaring2016.eventbrite.com.

In addition to her job, Katelyn continues to promote a spirit of service in other ways as well. She has served in various leadership roles with the West Michigan AmeriCorps Collaborative and has coordinated multiple projects around national days of service, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in January and Global Youth Service Day in April. Katelyn is currently pursuing her Masters in Communications at Grand Valley State University. 

For more information about AmeriCorps, go to www.americorps.gov