May was National Community Action month! Throughout May, attention was drawn to the role that Community Action Agencies have in helping low-income families achieve economic stability.
Several governors and mayors around the U.S., including Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, proclaimed May “Community Action Month”. Snyder stated:
“[C]ommunity action has put a human face on poverty for over 52 years by advocating for limited-income citizens, so that they may enter the middle class and reach for the American dream, replacing their despair with opportunity…community action already serves 99 percent of America’s counties in rural, suburban, and urban communities and because it is right, because it is wise, and because, in our hearts and minds we believe it is possible, we will conquer poverty in our lifetime…” The full declaration can be found here.
During the National Community Action Month, success stories were honored and personal achievements were recognized. The Michigan Financial Opportunity Corps (MFOC) currently has four members serving at Community Action Agencies throughout Michigan. These members are hardworking, driven and embody the spirit of the MFOC and the collective mission of AmeriCorps to “Get Things Done!” Kimberly Yost, who is serving with Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency in Westland shared the impact she has at her host site:
“At my site, I plan and organize financial education classes for the clients of the IDA accounts and savings match accounts. These classes benefit the clients because the clients are learning how to better save their money to prepare for their futures. I also help with planning events such as employee trainings and the Show Me the Money Day Event. In addition to these things, I create and provide content for Wayne Metro’s monthly newsletter. I also am helping to keep my host site’s webpage updated with current information regarding the financial education classes that I teach through them.”
Kim also shared what she liked most about her site, what she would miss most, and what her plans are after her service year is complete. She writes:
“What I like most [at my host site] is the atmosphere… everyone is kind and helpful, I enjoy being here. I also like being a part of the team and working with the organization to make a difference in my community. I will miss the people that I have gotten the privilege to get to know most of all!
Yost’s future plans are to attend graduate school at Wayne State University for Social Work, where she’ll graduate in 2018.
“I am focusing on interpersonal practice, specifically cognitive behavioral theory.I also plan to continue volunteering with my host site. I believe in their message and would still like to be a part of that even after my service is over.”
In the words of President Lyndon B. Johnson, “There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.” Thank you Kim and all those currently serving, volunteering, working at, or benefitting from the Community Action Agencies in Michigan!
CEDAM hosts the Michigan Financial Opportunity Corps and the Rural Opportunity VISTA program, both AmeriCorps programs. We would like to thank the Corps Support Committee for providing content to the Voices of AmeriCorps series.