Search form


AmeriCorps Week 2018: Sarah & Jessica

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 Sarah.

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

Sarah Adams, AmeriCorps member at the IRC in Salt Lake City
Sarah Adams, New Roots Food Access AmeriCorps VISTA, works with the IRC in Salt Lake City's New Roots program. Photo: Sarah Adams/IRC

Each day as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the New Roots program is a little different. My projects change to reflect our program's needs depending on the season. In my position so far, my tasks have ranged from organizing summer potlucks and community engagement activities in our community gardens to helping develop a garden winterization plan, to revising our gardener workshops and adding more visual materials to encourage learning for those gardeners with limited English abilities.

What impact have you made as an AmeriCorps member?

This past fall and into winter, I organized our targeted outreach efforts for new gardeners, and now, as I am making garden placements, I'm getting to the see the outcome of those efforts. We received over 50 community gardening applications in the past few months, and we are finally contacting our new gardeners to let them know they've been accepted into the New Roots program and schedule days to meet with them in their gardens for the first time. It has been great to see so much interest from our clients who want to participate in community gardening and growing supplemental food for themselves and their families.

Why does AmeriCorps matter?

My service so far as an AmeriCorps VISTA has been an excellent chance to gain insight into a broad spectrum of program activities. I've been able to develop my skills for communicating with diverse populations, expand my technical agriculture knowledge, and further develop my presentation and communications skills.

Meet Jessica.

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

Jessica Timerman, AmeriCorps member at the IRC in Salt Lake City
Jessica Timerman, women's health AmeriCorps VISTA, works with the IRC in Salt Lake City's health team. Photo: Jessica Timerman/IRC

My average day is a mix of coordinating logistics for educational classes, medical appointments, and screenings, as well as spending time developing new initiatives. Sometimes this includes meetings with community partners, training staff members, or researching best practices in the fields of sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence. I have also developed grant-writing skills, such as creating theories of change and log frames.

What impact have you made as an AmeriCorps member?

Due to responses from our family planning screening I implemented, we now distribute an average of 25 condoms per week through anonymous dispensers in our bathrooms! I worked with Planned Parenthood of Utah to receive the donated condoms!

Why does AmeriCorps matter?

AmeriCorps has provided me additional boots-on-the-ground experience in developing and sustaining new programs in the nonprofit setting. Working at the IRC in Salt Lake City, through AmeriCorps, has confirmed my ambition to pursue a career in international public health.

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 1,800 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.