An Interview with Ed Fellow Vera DeJesus

1. What originally made you want to join AmeriCorps?
I always wanted to have an experience completely devoted to service, but I wasn’t sure where to start. I also knew that I was interested in a career in education, and in my search I came across the education fellowship at the Learning Community. It was the perfect confluence of what I was looking for.
2. Did you meet any unexpected challenges as an AmeriCorps member? If so, what were they?
3. What is the biggest thing you’ve discovered about yourself this year?
I’ve discovered that I am much more comfortable in a leadership position than I thought I was. I also am grateful to have experienced what it feels like to work in a career you are passionate about and invested in. 
4. What lessons from your year of service do you think you’ll be able to translate into your future endeavors?
Everything! I’ve learned how to interact and work with people of varied professional and cultural backgrounds and how to work on a team with many moving parts and layers. I’ve learned the importance of trusting and depending on others and how critical it is to be consistently trustworthy and dependable as well. I hope these skills and experiences will follow me throughout my professional and personal life.
5. What would you tell someone who is thinking about serving, either in your program specifically, or as an AmeriCorps member in general?
Do it! By all means, take the plunge. But be thoughtful about your choice. This will be a year of intense and rapid growth and self-discovery, so you will be doing a LOT of work, all the time. It’s important that you choose a role and organization that makes sense for you and your goals.
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