In honor of National AmeriCorps Week, we are featuring the impact stories of our current AmeriCorps and our AmeriCorps alumni!
First up is Jenn Pullen who works with our Family Services Department to help prepare our homeowners for the responsibility of homeownership!
Jenn’s AmeriCorps Impact Story:
When I first applied to my position here at RMHFH, I will be honest, I did not quite know what AmeriCorps was. I had lost my job in corporate America; I was a banker for 5 years, however the one thing I knew was I wanted to work in the non-profit sector. After I had my interview and learned a bit more about what the position would be and what my impact would be, I knew that the sacrifices that I would make to join AmeriCorps would be nothing compared to what I would gain personally from the experience as well as the opportunity to help people in a way that I had not before.
An AmeriCorps VISTA is about building capacity for an organization that you are serving with, helping them put processes into place to make things run more efficiently and essentially make life easier. My main assignment for the year has been to customize and implement two databases for our Family Services department to make our mortgage and financial counseling process run much smoother, because having systems in place is much better than doing everything on Word and Excel documents. Let me say, I am not a technology guru, so this was a huge challenge for me. I had my moments of frustration, and asking what I had gotten myself into. I watched Webinars over and over again. At the end of the day, I had great support from my supervisor who believed in me and she never gave up faith that I could do what I set out to accomplish.
In November, we used the software that I had been working on since August when I started for the first time to close on a new homeowner’s 0% mortgage. I had seen my work, every ounce of hard work and stress that I had been feeling come to life when I could see the process from start to finish. Now, in March, all the kinks of the software have been worked out and it is even more fully functional than that first run back in November. This is a software that the Family Service department can use for every new homeowner they work with, and it is much simpler than the process that was in place before.
There are many other things that I have been working on in my months of being here but that moment, seeing my project from start to finish, the actual capacity building that VISTA is all about, I felt like I did what I was here to do for my organization and for the families I am here to serve. AmeriCorps is about getting things done, and when you do, it is the most rewarding feeling in the world!
Thanks so much to Jenn for all her hard work and for sharing her story! Stay tuned for more AmeriCorps Week Impact Stories!