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AmeriCorps provides a fresh start for member
Elliott Grant previously worked in hospitality for six years, but when they started to feel burnt out both physically and mentally from the position, Elliott decided to head in another route. That’s what led to them serving with Cherry Health’s AmeriCorps program over the last four years.“I knew from my spouse’s prior experience serving with Cherry Health that AmeriCorps was a great opportunity to start fresh,” said Elliott.
At Cherry Health, Elliott coordinates the Reach Out and Read program, a national early literacy intervention program where children receive free books. Grant also serves as Forms Coordinator, creating internal and patient-facing forms to ensure they comply with Cherry Health’s standards.
“I have gone through hundreds of forms and changed gendered language to gender-neutral language to make forms more inclusive for both staff and patients,” said Elliott.
During four years with Cherry Health, Grant has also organized several service projects, given presentations, served as the LeaderCorps representative, and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Cherry Health newsletter.
Elliott has a few memories they hold special from their time serving with Cherry Health.
“Right before the pandemic started, we had a team bonding experience making fresh pasta at The Local Epicurean in Grand Rapids,” said Elliott. “Even though I was gluten free at the time and couldn’t eat the pasta or pizza that was provided, the experience was an absolute blast and I loved getting to spend time with other AmeriCorps members.”
One of Elliott’s favorite service projects they’ve taken part in was at CompRenew, a local non-profit that recycles electronics and gives free computers and training to people in need. Grant enjoyed getting to know fellow AmeriCorps members while taking apart computers together.
Although their time with AmeriCorps is coming to an end soon, Elliott knows they will carry their love of service with them beyond Cherry Health.
“Serving with AmeriCorps has made me feel like I can actually make an impact on social injustice in a tangible way,” said Grant.