Michigan's AmeriCorps Alum Spotlight
As an AmeriCorps member with the Superior AmeriCorps program from 2010-2012, Rachael Wilber realized her passion for teaching and working with youth. The Superior AmeriCorps program, administered by BHK Child Development Board, utilizes 20 AmeriCorps members to provide literacy support to students in pre-kindergarten through third grade at risk of reading failure. AmeriCorps members serve in rural communities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
“During my time with AmeriCorps, I realized that I 'belong' in the school system,” Rachael stated. “I found that I could make a difference to students, especially the ones who needed it the most. I also developed many skills necessary for ANY work environment including organization, responsibility, compassion, empathy, and most of all leadership.”
Rachael is now employed as a science teacher in White Cloud, Michigan, and she loves what she does. She credits her AmeriCorps experience with providing a unique insight into the education field. “Not only did I get a chance to develop skills and discover what I wanted to do with my life, but I was also able to help others. I was able to work with high school students as well as elementary students – training the older students to be mentors and giving the elementary students someone (their mentors) to connect with and look up to. Seeing these relationships blossom was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!”
Rachael continues to promote a spirit of service in a variety of ways. “I still love watching students realize their own potential and helping them help others. With my guidance, my homeroom class created and is currently running a school-based food pantry for our students. I also continue to volunteer at community events and still love watching positive relationships between peers flourish. I’m so glad I served with AmeriCorps – it helped me discover my calling!”