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AmeriCorps Week 2018: Alex & Vikram

During AmeriCorps Week 2018 (March 11th - 17th), we will feature the AmeriCorps members who get things done at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Salt Lake City.

Meet Alex.

What is your day-to-day like? What skills are you developing?

Alex Hernandez, AmeriCorps member at the IRC in Salt Lake City
Alexandra "Alex" Hernandez, health outreach AmeriCorps VISTA, works with the IRC in Salt Lake City's health team. Photo: Alex Hernandez/IRC

I work on a variety of things including developing outreach materials, checking in with health mentor volunteers, working with interpreters to set up children's health classes and planning logistics for dental projects. I am gaining experience in program development and growing my leadership, problem-solving, event planning and public speaking skills. I love that I have had the opportunity to develop a variety of skills within my position!

What impact have you made as an AmeriCorps member?

As many refugees face limited access to dental services, a recent highlight has been a dental care event in which four refugee adults received extensive dental treatment—an estimated cost of over $23,000—for free!

Why does AmeriCorps matter?

AmeriCorps is a great program for anyone who wants to experience making a positive contribution to communities. It's an opportunity for agencies to build capacity and expand their services. This experience has helped me confirm my desire to continue my career in building healthy communities.

Meet Vikram.

What is your day-to-day like? What skills are you developing?

Vikram Ravi, AmeriCorps member at the IRC in Salt Lake City
Vikram Ravi, digital literacy & access assistant AmeriCorps VISTA, works with the IRC in Salt Lake City's education team. Photo: Sarah Maddock/IRC

As an AmeriCorps VISTA at the IRC in Salt Lake City, my day-to-day involves collaborating with different departments and staff members because technology access is connected to a number of important resettlement challenges like doing homework, paying bills, finding jobs, and navigating online maps.

What impact have you made as an AmeriCorps member?

AmeriCorps VISTA has given me the opportunity to be a part of launching a new program to improve access to internet, computers and digital literacy education.

Why does AmeriCorps matter?

From witnessing families receive their first desktop to having lightbulb moments learning useful apps, it's a privilege seeing technology transcend language and culture and empower refugees to regain control of their lives.

AmeriCorps at the IRC in Salt Lake City

AmeriCorps is a national service organization where individuals commit their time to address critical community needs in exchange for a living allowance and education award. In 2017, the IRC in Salt Lake City's ten full-time service members raised over $146,000 in in-kind donations, coordinated over 1800 volunteers and created 45 new systems allowing us to better serve newly resettled refugees. Our AmeriCorps members at the IRC in Salt Lake City work every day to ease refugees’ transition to life in Utah. AmeriCorps members #GetThingsDone!

The IRC in Salt Lake City places ten full-time service members through the United Way of Utah County, Salt Lake County and Refugee Services Office. If you are interested in learning more about AmeriCorps at the IRC, please email us at SaltLakeCity [at] Rescue.org (subject: AmeriCorps) and include "AmeriCorps" in the subject line.