Michigan's AmeriCorps Alum Spotlight
For Alyse Nichols, her service as an AmeriCorps member with the MSU College Advising Corps from 2014-2016 helped bring into focus her love for service and trying to right inequities that exist within communities. As a result of her experience, she decided to pursue a Master’s in Public Health degree at Grand Valley State University. Alyse now finds herself often advocating and exploring health issues/solutions that exist within rural settings, much like the area in which she did her service.
The MSU College Advising Corps places recent MSU graduates as AmeriCorps members in high schools throughout the state of Michigan to serve alongside counselors and other college access organizations. These near-peer college advisers assist high school students and their families with college searches, essay writing, SAT/ACT prep, college applications, FAFSA completion, scholarship searches, college visits, and successfully transitioning to post-secondary education.
“My AmeriCorps service truly meant the world to me,” stated Alyse. “It introduced me to other young people around the state who are passionate about education and who, through long trainings and countless college applications, turned into close friends and confidants. It also introduced me to a different way of life. I grew up in Metro Detroit and moving to a rural West Michigan community was a drastic change for me; but I couldn’t have been more happy with my decision. The community really championed me as a person, as well as the work that I did. I often think back to that time and feel so much love for the community and the people there!”
Alyse continues to promote a spirit of service in a variety of ways. “As a former AmeriCorps member, I of course, feel the call to volunteer both my time and money for causes I believe in. However, I think the best example in which I promote the spirit of AmeriCorps is through dealings and interactions with people in my everyday life. My service instilled in me a type of empathy and kindness that comes from working with an underserved population, and in turn has helped me to look at others with a more compassionate lens than I did before.”