Deidre – Brazos Valley Rehabilitation Center

Ok. So, my name is Deidre Honea. I joined AmeriCorps to give me the opportunity to serve in a more unique way… I honestly never heard of it before and just the description and what AmeriCorps stands for and does… I couldn’t resist but being involved with them. The biggest challenge here is it being at a brand new program and just finding clientele to serve and to keep them coming back for more help has honestly been my biggest challenge. It’s also been a little bit difficult feeling very secluded from the rest of the AmeriCorps members. But, I know they’re just a couple hours away… you know, just a few hours away. But, I do wish there were more members who served here as well. I believe I would do AmeriCorps again. I think if I was a little bit younger… I mean I am only 24, I am not saying I am old, but I’m just saying I feel like I am past the point where I would be doing these kind of things, but it has been such a rewarding experience and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything, I am so grateful to have been a part of this and become an alumni of AmeriCorps, means a lot to me. Well, my main job here is I’m a financial literacy advisor. I have been giving some classes to individuals and assisting clients who come to the- not that you can see what I am pointing at- that come to the Brazos Valley Rehabilitation Center who have disabilities… We’ve been doing things such as ‘How to make a grocery list,’ ‘How to start your own budget,’ you know, ‘How to write down on a calendar where everyone can see what’s due when,’ ‘How to read your credit report or how to pull it,’ very important things you need to know whenever you’re doing a budget. I have always worked in retail. I’ve always been a store manager, an assistant manager, some type of leadership role, and I am so used to having to do things so quickly and be on a deadline and go, go, go, go, and this job has given me the opportunity to relax a little bit more. Now, I am not saying that I am slacking off, but I am just saying the client are being more flexible with you, the work environment’s more flexible… You still get things done in a timely manner, but if they’re not done, you know, by a certain time, then you’re not… being scolded by your CEO or anything.
I have greatly learned to love that… I have also loved the interaction with individuals. It’s just been wonderful to actually sit down and talk with someone about what they are struggling with or going through, and have the option and the ability to help them and be there, in their lives. It’s probably the same with any kind of job. It’s either not advertised or they, you know, been neglected in the past of other jobs, or they may… hear certain things…if it’s ‘too hands on’ or ‘too technical or anything,’ you know, and I hope that they know that AmeriCorps is there for them just like any other job should be there for them and I hope they aren’t afraid to… not not afraid… I hope they realize that there’s endless opportunities just like there are for me. Ok, in all honesty, yes, it is hard to get by with the pay, but the experience is extremely rewarding and the people you meet, you won’t forget. You’re opening up so many more doors than just an internship somewhere. It’s just a rewarding experience and it’s very humbling. It’s very inspiring… It’s wonderful to see all these people as a whole, get together, for the same cause instead of you feeling like an individual, just trying to get things done. You should join. You’ve got to take a risk, you have to take chances in life, and this is one chance you should definitely consider… You won’t regret it.

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