Goal 1 on my list has always been my favorite and most important goal to accomplish. I spent most of my high school career fantasizing about how much I wanted to do a volunteer abroad experience and much of my college career gearing myself up to move half way across the world. I’ve always had a passion to serve and I wanted that sort of opportunity to give back in a way that allowed me to see the true impact of my work.
After a year of applications in preparation of graduating college, I was finally accepted to AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA! Last Tuesday, I packed up my life into one duffle bag and began my new adventure in Vinton, IA where I will be serving in Class 21 until the end of May.
I received a lot of mixed emotions about my move to Iowa, and I have to admit I was on the fence about the whole experience for quiet some time. Initially, I had applied to serve in NCCC, a track that allows volunteers to do more manual labor in a large amount of areas. I was waitlisted to the program and eventually offered a position with FEMA instead, which does the administrative work to make disaster relief projects possible. Hearing that it was primarily administrative work made me very nervous because the outdoors manual labor was what initially excited me about NCCC.
After just a week here, I’m already so excited about all of the different aspects of FEMA that my initial concerns are entirely at rest. Although the work is mostly administrative, corps members get the opportunity to do independent projects that allow for us to do some manual work and focus on our own individual interests. While in NCCC, you’re traditionally tied to a region, FEMA can serve anywhere around the US just depending on what disasters have occurred. The constant movement and travel, especially in areas of the world that I wouldn’t really have the opportunity to see, sounds like an incredible experience. Combine all of this with the fact that I got placed on a team of such incredible individuals and in a class with some of the most genuine and caring people I have ever met, I can’t help but be so excited to see what happens over the next ten months.
I’ll keep you all updated as time goes on and post pictures when I can. I will be in training for the next month or so, two weeks of which I will be training in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and then the spike projects and deployment begin!