Stories of Service

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By: Ellie Bullard


Announcing Our New Career Pathways: Transform Your Service into a Career Path

Many AmeriCorps members discover what they want to do next in life partly because of their experiences with service. One member, after serving with Opportunity Corps, decided to complete her college degree. Another used his service with City of Lakes AmeriCorps as a jumping-off point for a teaching career. AmeriCorps experience by itself can be valuable for almost any next step.

But it’s not always easy to figure out how to make that next step a reality. It can be difficult to know which career path requires which training, and what skills you might need to be good at the job. In addition, the certification and degrees required for certain careers can cost a lot and take a lot of time.

That’s why we collaborated with our Minnesota AmeriCorps programs to create a series of “Career Pathways.” These Career Pathways offer certification coverage, mentorship, and other professional development geared at getting AmeriCorps members ready for a specific career. They are designed to be completed while also serving as an AmeriCorps member, and prioritize diversifying the workforce by providing opportunities for members who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Reading Corps

If you’re looking for a service opportunity that offers a clear path to a long-term career, or are thinking about making a change, one of our Career Pathways below could be right for you.

Education Track

Emerging Educators Pathway

Through the Emerging Educators Pathway, Reading Corps members will receive leadership training and mentorship support to help guide them on their pathway to becoming a teacher. This pathway is open to all, with a specific focus on supporting Black, Indigenous, and people of color interested in exploring the teaching profession.

AmeriCorps Program: Reading Corps
Requirements: Must be located in the Twin Cities metro area; Open to all post-secondary education levels

Teachers in Training

While serving in Reading Corps, AmeriCorps members will earn their initial elementary education K-6 teaching license and their Master’s of Education from the University of Minnesota. After completing the program, AmeriCorps members will be certified and qualified to teach full-time. This program is open to members across the state of Minnesota, with a special focus on training teachers in greater Minnesota, where there is a significant shortage of elementary teachers.

AmeriCorps Program: Reading Corps
Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree; Acceptance to the UMN’s graduate program; Eligible to serve two years; Ideally at least one year of experience with Reading Corps or Math Corps

Associate Degree through Reading Corps and Math Corps

AmeriCorps members serving as PreK tutors, K-3 reading tutors, K-3 math tutors, or Scholar Coaches are eligible to simultaneously earn their Associate Degree in Educational Foundations from Minneapolis College. While all 18+ individuals with citizen status and a high school diploma or GED are eligible, this benefit is aimed at Black, Indigenous, and people of color with the goal of diversifying Minnesota’s teacher workforce. Those who are able to maximize Pell grant and financial aid will earn their degree at little to no cost.

AmeriCorps Program: Reading Corps and Math Corps
Requirements: High School diploma, GED, or equivalent; Acceptance to a 2-year institution; Must be local to the Twin Cities metro area

Recovery Track

Peer Recovery Support Specialist Pathway

The Peer Recovery Support Specialist (PRSS) Certification is a national certification that trains people in recovery to assist others in initiating and maintaining recovery. Through this pathway, Recovery Corps will cover the cost of the 46-hour Recovery Coach Academy training required for the certification and will cover the cost of the certification exam as well. They also help members prepare to take and pass the PRSS Certification Exam. Note that this pathway is only available for Recovery Navigators.

AmeriCorps Program: Recovery Corps
Requirements: At least one year of uninterrupted recovery from a substance-use disorder

Environment Track

Minnesota GreenCorps Career Development

GreenCorps offers members up to $250 each to participate in conferences, trainings, and certifications in the sustainability and environment field. Each GreenCorps member is paired with a professional in the environment field to guide their career journey. Members also receive quarterly trainings from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on topics relevant to the field, including a “Life After AmeriCorps” training that helps prep GreenCorps members for a job search.

AmeriCorps Program: Minnesota GreenCorps
Requirements: N/A

Career Services Track

Facilitating Career Development Training Pathway

The Facilitating Career Development training provides skills for those who want to work in the career counseling or workforce development field. It is a prerequisite to apply for the Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) and/or Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP) certifications. Opportunity Corps members who participate in this pathway receive coverage of 120-hour Facilitating Career Development training along with support and training in applying for the GCDF and/or CCSP certifications.

AmeriCorps Program: Opportunity Corps
Requirements: N/A

Not sure yet? Check out Design Your Life!

All AmeriCorps members and alumni have access to our Design Your Life program, which is based on a Stanford course that helps people figure out what career path they want to pursue. The program is based on the principles of design thinking, which involve empathizing with a problem, creating a potential solution, testing it, and then repeating the process. Read an interview with Dean Kephart, Vice President of Insight and Change at ServeMinnesota, who teaches the course.

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