On March 14th, all of the Promise Corps CCA”s traveled down to the University of Pennsylvania to attend the 2019 AmeriCorps Conference. This was a memorable experience because the conference is not held every year, and even if it is, is not always held in Philadelphia. We were joined by over 800 other AmeriCorps members from across the city and the state, with some members travelling from as far as Erie. The conference kicked off with an opening ceremony in which several members, including Promise Corps’ very own Rodney Babb, had the opportunity to talk about what their service meant to them. There were several distinguished speakers, and Mayor Kenney even made an appearance. Two other Promise Corps members, Emani Smith and Jessie Klein, volunteered to help direct members to the next events, and support the speakers.
Members had the opportunity to attend a total of three different workshops, which covered a wide range of topics pertaining to service. The topics included: understanding how to approach issues regarding race and gender, effective communication skills, self-care, and how to navigate life after AmeriCorps. Two other CCA’s, Shakiera Harden and Drew Schaub, even led one of the workshops, which discussed how to foster positive team dynamics. These workshops provided a valuable opportunity for members to reflect on their service and think about ways that they could make the most of their year of service. It was also a special experience because it gave members a chance to interact with people from different programs. Everyone was able learn about various AmeriCorps programs, share ideas, and just get to know one another. It was invigorating to feel appreciation for our service, and to share that with each other. It was a great chance to reflect, take pride in our service, and reaffirm that the work we do truly matters.