This AmeriCorps Member position is a one-year, paid, service-learning opportunity through UMBC's The Choice Program and The Shriver Center. Our AmeriCorps Members serve as advocates and work to connect families to self-identified, needed resources and reinforce a strengths-based, anti-racist approach to youth development.
The Choice Program’s guiding principle is anti-racism, which we uphold through our accountability to the following values: 1) being youth-centered, 2) dismantling hierarchies, 3) practicing holistic development, and 4) believing in humanity. AmeriCorps Members collaborate on teams that serve youth through individualized, strengths-based services and focus on restorative practices.
Choice has served Maryland’s youth for over 30 years and currently has several exciting service opportunities based in the Greater Baltimore area, Prince George's County, Howard County and Montgomery County.
What You’d Do
Serving within a team model, AmeriCorps members share case management responsibilities for program youth, including welcoming them into the program through intake meetings, helping them to set goals for their time with Choice, checking in with them along the way through service plans, connecting them with community resources, and offering classroom and/or legal support. You’ll make meaningful connections with the young people you serve, offering informal counseling/mentoring on recreational outings, community service activities, arts programming, home visits and beyond.
To us, youth development means: being available to our youth consistently, often making visits to meet with them on a daily basis; using a strengths-based approach to promote positive self-image; using a holistic approach to honor every aspect of a person’s life; developing high expectations and holding youth accountable to their own progress on goals; forming a mentoring relationship that is built on trust and rapport; engaging with families and assisting as a communication link; fostering self-sufficiency by building life-skills; providing opportunities for meaningful engagement through structured after-school, weekend and summer activities.
Service is completed collaboratively at Choice, from case management of youth to organizational decision making. In addition to day-to-day case management responsibilities, you’ll participate in cooperative projects, team-based decision making and organizational committees.
Due to the nature of the workflow and youth needs, AmeriCorps members must be flexible with their schedules. Members should expect some weeks to include serving hours beyond a 40-hour week.