Courtney – Brazos Valley Rehabilitation Center


Hi, my name is Courtney and I serve in AmeriCorps ASSET in Bryan, TX as an Assistive Technology Navigator. I joined AmeriCorps because I had just graduated from college and I needed something that would give me money and something that I feel like I could give back to the community too, as well. Aside from the perks, it’s also good to feel good about helping others that are in need and need some sort of assistance. And people with disabilities… I feel, you know, kind of get left behind a lot of times as people that are in need of just help in general. I definitely think I would do AmeriCorps again, however, I feel like I would probably work in another sector helping people, not just assistive technology, again… I think it’s a good program, especially for recent graduates, or even high school graduates, or people in between jobs. And, I think it’s pretty beneficial, and I mean I think it’s a good deal. You help your community, and you… gain new experience, you learn new stuff about yourself, and it’s just a resume booster. I think it’s… I thinks it’s pretty good. So, I support people with disabilities by working with assistive technology. Basically, I have people that come in that have different types of disabilities. Whether it be visual or hearing or physical, they come in and they just want to learn how to access the computer just like a person without a disability does. So, I have special software and devices and instruments that I use to help guide people through gaining more independence through technology… It’s pretty rewarding, especially when I see someone that came to me, that didn’t know anything about a computer, and… has just gained so much from working with me on a weekly bases. So I do feel like I am helping people with disabilities. Well, since this is definitely not a typical work experience, I have learned that… You really have to be multi-task talented, I guess, and… ‘Cause there is a lot aside from assistive technology that may be going one day… We had to do a service project, so that entailed event planning, and just time management. So there’s different types of components that are just needed with this type of service work, aside from just the AmeriCorps duties that you are supposed to do. I guess because there’s just the common notion that people with disabilities, I guess they feel they can’t do as much as people that don’t have disabilities… Just being in the ASSET Program, has proven me wrong and I am sure other people’s prescription that even though you may have a disability, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a job or do something just as efficient as someone that doesn’t have a disability. For people who aren’t sure about joining AmeriCorps, first I would say, do your research. You know, I’ve definitely referred a lot of my friends to AmeriCorps and… the first site I tell them to go to is AmeriCorps.gov, ’cause I mean it has everything that you need to know about AmeriCorps there and more. And… that’s the only thing I can think of, is do your research and of course it would be great to talk to someone that has served in AmeriCorps before or is already doing it right now, like currently doing it. So just… and to just do it, give it a chance because it’s, you know, it’s not forever… Sometimes I think they have service AmeriCorps Programs where you just work two months to three months or a semester or eleven months to twelve months. It just depends on the location and the program, but I would definitely do it again and I would refer it to someone, like I said who is a recent graduate, or even high school graduate, or even in between jobs, cause I think it’s pretty beneficial. And, I mean, at the end of the day, not only are you helping yourself, but you’re helping someone else, while serving your community. And, at the end of the day that really matters a lot.

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