AmeriCorps Week Guest Blog: Elexis Hamby, member at Kent State University
By guest blogger: Elexis Hamby
My name is Elexis Hamby and I am an Ohio Campus Compact AmeriCorps member serving at Kent State University in the Office of the Dean of Students. Currently, I am helping to develop our student resource center – the Crisis, Advocacy, Resources, Education, and Support (CARES) Center. Our center will exist to ensure that students basic needs are met so that they can reach their fullest potential as a student and as a member of society. The CARES Center will and has done so by connecting students to both on and off-campus resources, and sometimes by providing those resources directly (i.e., through the Office of the Dean of Student’s Satellite Pantry).
This coming July will mark my first year of service. Thus far, I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience. One of the aspects I have enjoyed most has been connecting with students and establishing trust or rapport because that rapport has led to resource provision, and that is the essence of my service. Words cannot describe how great it feels to know that my efforts and the efforts of those I serve with are helping to keep students in school, engaged, and on the path to achieving their dreams and pursuing their callings. It has also been truly heartwarming to observe students becoming advocates for other students.
This past month, our office hosted a food drive in which several offices, departments, and student organizations came together to donate over 2,100 pounds of food to support our pantry and their peers. I would say watching this “ripple-effect” of “Flashes helping Flashes” has probably been the most rewarding part of my term so far.
Being an AmeriCorps member has substantially impacted my life in many ways. As a student at The University of Akron, I had to utilize their student resource center –ZipAssist. If it was not for ZipAssist covering a few emergency expenses, I may not have graduated on time or at all. With that said, AmeriCorps has provided me with an outlet to give back to a cause or a program that once gave to me and has given me a sense of purpose and fulfillment. I cannot be more appreciative to be in a position to where I am helping to further develop and carry out a center that is already changing student’s lives.
Overall, becoming an AmeriCorps member is one of the best decisions I have made. I would wholeheartedly recommend AmeriCorps to my peers. I believe that anyone striving to make a profound impact in their community would greatly benefit from a year or several years in service as an AmeriCorps member.
ServeOhio is Ohio’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism. Interested in becoming an AmeriCorps member? Please consider visiting ServOhio’s website to learn more. Learn more here.
Is the idea of bringing the AmeriCorps Student Resource Center to your campus intriguing? Please consider serving as a host site for the 2021-22 program year. Ohio Campus Compact is accepting host site inquiries through March 15, 2021.
Download the Intent to Apply here. Instructions are provided on the Intent to Apply form.
Questions about the SRC program? Contact Stephanie Dodd, Program Director for the AmeriCorps SRC program.