Michigan's AmeriCorps Alum Spotlight
Serving as an AmeriCorps member in the AdviseMI program helped Shelbe Klebs realize her love for higher education. The AdviseMI AmeriCorps program is administered by the Michigan College Access Network. More than 80 AmeriCorps members serve as full-time college advisors dedicated to providing college access services to students and their families. The program partners with higher education institutions to recruit their AmeriCorps members.
“I was interested in the higher education related issues that were raised when I advised high school students and I wanted to make an impact on them at a more national level,” Shelby stated. “As a direct result of my AmeriCorps experience, I chose to pursue a Master of Public Policy with a concentration in Higher Education Policy at the George Washington University. I want to advocate for students at the national level and I have been able to do that through my two internship experiences.”
During her first semester, Shelbe advocated for the financial aid policy priorities of the National College Access Network. This allowed her to work toward reducing the barriers students face when they apply to college. Now in her second semester of graduate school, Shelbe is a Public Policy Intern at the College Board where she primarily works on higher education admissions policy. Through her work on admissions policy, she has been able to directly impact how the most selective higher education admissions offices evaluate and offer access to low-income minority students.
When asked to reflect on her AmeriCorps service, Shelbe shared the following: “My AmeriCorps service meant a lot to me. It was an extremely transformative experience. Through it, I was able to meet so many wonderful and inspiring students who impacted my view of the world and of higher education. It ignited my passion for higher education policy and gave me a new perspective of what high school students go through when they apply to college. I loved being able to work with students and I am very proud of what they were able to accomplish. It was a privilege to advise my students and that experience set me up for where I am at now.”
Shelbe continues to carry on a spirit of service in a variety of ways. “I try to promote the spirit of service in my everyday life and I try to encourage others to do so as well. I like to spend my free time volunteering in the Washington, D.C. area. It’s a great way to get to know the city and the people. Beyond this, my service experience made me more empathetic, a better listener, and gave me a better understanding of what vulnerable populations face day-to-day. This motivates me to be kind and to be open minded with everyone I meet. I try to be compassionate and encourage others to do the same. I think this is really what embodies the spirit of service.”