AmeriCorps LEAP Initiative - the impact
See what our AmeriCorps LEAP Initiative alumni have to say about their experience in the program!
The impact that my AmeriCorps experience has had on me is incredible. It was a chance for me to branch out and become the person I was meant to be, and it was such a valuable and transitional time in my life. I am very lucky I was able to completely immerse myself in what I was doing and focus on doing the best job that I could. My AmeriCorps term was a journey for me to find myself and figure out what I wanted and who I wanted to be. I feel very fortunate that I was able to do this while at the same time serving my community and making a difference. I learned so much about early childhood, and the experiences and trainings I have will help me in so many aspects of life. I could not be more grateful for this amazing opportunity with the best organization. This experience has been truly amazing, thank you so much for everything! Never once did I feel alone or lost, and that is because of the support from staff. - Emily Arnold, Northfield Longfellow Preschool
AmeriCorps has provided me with many tools that benefited my students at my site and that will also help me in my future career working in special education. I will share with other educators the importance of breath, mindfulness, and social/emotional skill building. The past two years in AmeriCorps have helped strengthen my communication and time management skills plus enhanced my experience in the classroom. It was an honor to be a part of such an outstanding program. - Hannah Byer-Sunde, Blooming Prairie Preschool
My year of service with AmeriCorps LEAP was a tremendous experience. My service confirmed for me that getting my degree in education is the right career path for me. Seeing all of the children’s faces light up when learning something new, especially about the brain, was so fun to witness! When deciding whether or not I wanted to become a teacher the salary had an impact. My LEAP experience allowed me to first hand be in the classroom and realize that the pay doesn’t matter as much because having such an important role in children’s lives is satisfying. Throughout the program we were given many tools, which I am excited to modify and implement in my future classroom, as well as opportunities to network and get my closer to my career goal. - Katie Todd, St. Charles Preschool
My service in LEAP AmeriCorps was wonderful. The skills AmeriCorps teaches felt universal and applicable in almost any walk of life so I feel incredibly happy I will be able to apply my background experience, elsewhere. I truly can’t thank AmeriCorps and SMIF enough for such a wonderful experience. - Rachel Nelson, Blooming Prairie Preschool
For my third term as an AmeriCorps LEAP Member, it was another rewarding year. It was another year of serving to be that one positive support to students and coworkers. It was another year of looking through life in a different lens, to see children and people for who they are and who they can be. It was another year of self-discovery and self-development. It was another year of focusing on being mindful and grateful. - Abbey Belter, Ridgeway Community School
Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation has restored my faith in humanity. They showcase the ideal values of human society in everything they do. I began my service with them two years ago as an AmeriCorps LEAP social-emotional skill builder. The truth is I learned a lot about social-emotional skills for use in my own life and gained a better understanding of human development. – Reid Harris, St. James Preschool