Stories of Service


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).

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

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

Emerging Educators

Emerging Educators is a paid, two-year initiative that creates opportunities for individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, a person or color, or with limited income to become educators. Through this initiative, members serve as a tutor in Early Learning Corps, Reading Corps, or Math Corps and gain two years of classroom experience while earning their associate degree in education. This is one of few initiatives providing an entry point into teaching at little to no cost. Positions are now available – learn more and apply!

AmeriCorps Program: Early Learning Corps, 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. Positions are now available – learn more and apply!

AmeriCorps Program: Recovery Corps
Requirements: At least one year of uninterrupted recovery from a substance-use disorder; Review position descriptions for Recovery Corps

Environment Track

Minnesota GreenCorps Career Development

Minnesota GreenCorps offers members up to $300 each to participate in conferences, trainings, and workshops of their choice. Members may also use the funding to gain certifications in the sustainability and environmental fields. Each MN GreenCorps member receives on-the-job training at their host site and is paired with a professional mentor to guide their career journey. Members also receive quarterly training from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on relevant environmental topics, as well as a “Life After AmeriCorps” training that helps prep MN GreenCorps members for their post-service job search. Positions are now available – learn more and apply!

AmeriCorps Program: Minnesota GreenCorps
Requirements: Learn more at Minnesota GreenCorps’ website.

Building Analyst Certification Pathway

The nationally-recognized BPI Building Analyst certification trains people to perform comprehensive home assessments and prescribe solutions based on building science. Members serving in the Home Energy Initiative are eligible to earn their Building Analyst certification during their service term.  Home Energy Initiative members gain on-the-job experience and training in partnership with industry professionals in the field.  Members who choose to earn their Building Analyst certification are supported through completion of all certification requirements with no out-of-pocket cost to them. Positions are now available – learn more and apply!

AmeriCorps Program: Home Energy Initiative
Requirements: Please review the position description for the Home Energy Initiative.

Public Health Track

Minnesota Public Health Corps Career Development

As part of Public Health Corps, AmeriCorps members serve as Public Health Project Coordinators to help meet emerging public health needs and to grow the public health workforce. Public Health Corps members will receive individualized career counseling to help connect them to certifications, educational opportunities, or jobs to continue their career in the public health field. Positions are now available – apply today and learn more!

AmeriCorps Program: Minnesota Public Health Corps
Requirements: Please review the position description for Public Health Corps.

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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