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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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For Individuals > For Current Members and Volunteers >
 
Stories of Service

 

AmeriCorps

 
Tracie Thacker
AmeriCorps*VISTA – Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, WI
 

Tracie Thacker began her AmeriCorps*VISTA service with Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee after completing a year of service with AmeriCorps*NCCC. After her NCCC experience, she decided she wanted to continue with AmeriCorps but serve people closer to her home in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

The Boys and Girls Club’s Job Ready program for local teenagers was the perfect fit for Tracie. By her second month of service, Tracie had started up additional program sites, developed a weekly jobs listing, and facilitated mock interviews for the teenagers with managers from several local retailers. These new program elements provided tangible incentives for teenagers to join the program and maximized the organization’s limited resources to effectively prepare teens for their first job.

During her service, Tracie also recruited and led a group of 10 volunteers from the Young Professionals of Milwaukee in an eight-month program at the four Job Ready sites. Volunteers met with teens weekly to help them build their job readiness skills and find a job or internship.

Tracie recalls one student who applied for a job at a coffee shop. When the store called her to schedule an interview, out of fear she responded, “I have something better to do.” Later, she confessed to Tracie she was so nervous she didn’t know what to say. With Tracie’s support, the girl developed the courage to go back to the same store and ask for an interview. She was hired and has been working there for the past five months.

“It shows that the work that you’re doing is really paying off,” Tracie says.

Tracie also used her background in retail merchandising to help revive a floundering youth-run business venture at the Club. Prior to Tracie’s arrival, theT-shirt screening business had little staff leadership, no marketing program, no accounting mechanisms, and few youth participants. In four months, Tracie worked with youth, staff, and community volunteers to develop a name and logo for the shop, a marketing plan, and an accounting system. Thanks to these changes, the once fledgling initiative has generated more than $10,000 in sales in 2005.

“I never thought that one person could make a difference until I joined AmeriCorps,” Tracie reflects. “You learn so much about yourself, society, and different resources that are out there.”

 

 
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