AmeriCorps Week is March 8th-14th! MENTOR Virginia has been celebrating by featuring one of our VISTA Members each day on our Facebook page, spotlighting the incredible work that they are doing to build capacity for our partner mentoring programs across Virginia. We have gathered all their reflections on what AmeriCorps service means to them in this blog post to amplify their voices and highlight how the varied experiences of our VISTA Members all point to the same conclusion: #AmeriCorpsWorks!

Emily Bolinger

Peter Paul

“Serving with AmeriCorps has meant the freedom to explore my passion for service at the local level, while simultaneously gaining valuable personal and professional experiences. It has allowed me to advocate for a more equitable future by spreading awareness, creating opportunities, and being an agent of change in my community.”

Katelyn Chau


To me, AmeriCorps service means growth–not just in the sector and industry you provide services to through your AmeriCorps work, but growth in your mindset, perspective, skill set, and more.”

Hope Davis

Germanna Community College

“For me, AmeriCorps service means contributing to my community and celebrating the little things. In my two years at Germanna, I have found that celebrating is a great way to encourage growth and add momentum to goals. I work with mentors who are mentoring college students. The students we work with are often easily discouraged. Because of this, I always tell mentors to celebrate everything with their mentees. Celebrating who they are, their accomplishments, and their baby-steps. In doing this, I have been able to see students not just improve their grades, but also their mental health, their appreciation for their hometown, and embrace their identity. Our mentors love being there to celebrate with their students, whether it’s receiving a diploma or just going to Panera for the first time. It’s incredible to see how one relationship can completely change someone’s outlook!”

Jessica Hand


AmeriCorps service, to me, means taking the time to step out of your comfort zone with an open perspective to the many unjust adversities people in our community face as well as acquiring knowledge to combat these issues each and every day.

Brianna Harrison Dunn

Befriend-A-Child Mentoring Program at Fairfax County Department of Family Services

This experience has been meaningful to me both professionally and personally. Not only have I gained knowledge and skills, but I have been able to develop and refine my gifts and abilities in a profound way through service to others. Though I have faced many obstacles and challenges during my service assignment, I am eternally grateful for this experience because it has set me up to succeed in my future goals and endeavors.

Melody Lutz

Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club

AmeriCorps service has been a wonderful opportunity to be part of a wide network of like-minded individuals, working toward elevating American communities at the local level. My time as a VISTA has afforded me meaningful work and practical training, in everything from community engagement to program management, that will inform my personal growth as well as my career. 

Blake Mogel

Communities in Schools of Chesterfield

“AmeriCorps service to me means having lots of people on my team. Having guidance and support from MENTOR VA, CIS of Chesterfield, and the AmeriCorps network has been amazing. Feeling so supported from so many angles has not only helped me to accomplish great things in my work, but it has helped me to experience a lot of personal and professional growth.