streettalk (2007-44)

Laura Mitchell, AmeriCorps Volunteer

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Street Talk

How long have you worked with AmeriCorps, and why did you decide to join the organization?

I have been working with CAC (Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee) AmeriCorps since August. I decided to volunteer with AmeriCorps because I think that we all have something to give back to our communities. I chose Knoxville to serve in because of the environmental focus of the CAC corps.

Do you work exclusively in the school system? What type of educational opportunities do you provide for the students?

I work on the Earth Flag team which is based out of Ijams Nature Center. Each team member goes to four Knox County schools to teach lessons about the environment, plant gardens with the children, help create and maintain natural areas, assist with recycling, and compost during lunch.

Are the students responsive to your lessons?

I think the students enjoy the Earth Flag lessons very much. They are excited to see me and always want to know when I will return to their classrooms. I think children are naturally curious and interested in the environment.

Was the experience of moving to Tennessee what you expected? What are your plans for after your time here with AmeriCorps ends?

Moving from New York State to Tennessee was scary. I had some pretty typical stereotypes about the South before moving here, but I have enjoyed living in Knoxville and have made some great friends as well. I hope to continue volunteering after AmeriCorps. I would like to go abroad to volunteer in a third world country and continue teaching about the environment. â" Greg Wilkerson

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