As much as it pains us to say it, today is our AmeriCorps team’s last day! In celebration of the hilarious and amazing year that was 2012/13, we’ve put together some of our favorite memories of the team–both work- and, uh, not-so-work-related.
Ben: As captain of The Bridge this year, Ben trained nearly 200 prospective nonprofit board members, developed and launched The Bridge 201 AND created a network of Seattle Works alumni, LeadNOW. What else? He’s serenaded us with Britney Spears on so (too?) many occasions and we’ve watched Ben get emotional over more than a few sandwiches–we take full credit for introducing him to the Honey Hole and Paseo. You’re welcome, Ben. Thankfully, Ben is joining the Seattle Works team for good, as Program Manager for Leadership Development–running The Bridge, HandsOn Leadership, LeadNOW and our elections programming!
Irina: We could say Irina killed it leading Hot Projects and Team Works this year–but that might be an understatement. in her first six months on the job, she increased the number of Hot Projects on our calendar by 50% and Hot Project participants by nearly 60%! She also recruited all of Seattle Works Day projects and matched teams with project sites–a crazy puzzle that involved daily meetings around a huge list on our white board wall. The day Irina explained to us that Karen Walker is her spirit animal, everything made sense. She’s off to London in September for graduate school at University College London–hay girl hay!
Tomilyn: As leader of HandsOn Leadership this year, Tomilyn didn’t necessarily sign up to, you know, build a park–but she did it anyway. That’s right, Tomilyn is a part of the small planning team that is bringing a new park to 19th & Madison. Tomilyn has tirelessly knocked on doors all around our neighborhood, meeting neighbors and recruiting volunteers to help make this park a reality. She’s also been Seattle Works’ official walking encyclopedia of all things great and random. At any point, she has an article discussing all of Jay-Z’s 99 problems and a “Sharknado” trailer in her back pocket. She took over the Seattle Works Weekly Email this spring, and we’ve been laughing out loud in the office every Tuesday since! Tomilyn is staying in Seattle to start a grad program at UW’s Evans School this fall.
And while they were all amazing individually, they were even better as a team. This year, we tasked them with getting Seattle Works Day participants to better understand what we do and how to get involved. Sounds easy, but it’s surprisingly difficult! After working at their projects, people are tired. They want to kick it and have a beer with their friends. They don’t want to listen to speakers, they don’t want to read information and they sure as heck aren’t going to visit an info table. Reasonable enough, but it makes things tougher for us! This year the team took that to heart and created a series of games to get people interacting and learning. It was an awesome strategy–people were willing to do crosswords and word searches. They were even up for asking strangers questions thanks to some pretty great raffle prizes as motivation. Thanks to the AC team, we got great feedback and a good solid list of people inquiring about our fall programs. That’s this team in a nutshell–just the right blend of fun and practical, hopeful and realistic. They know how to get a job done!
And last but not least, we thank them for introducing us to The Creep while on the Vashon Island ferry.