AmeriCorps Alumnus Highlight: Yusuf Word

Do you you ever wonder what happened to those awesome AmeriCorps staff who dedicated a year (or more!) to Trinity's Outreach Programs? For the month of February, we will be highlighting a few of our past members, culminating in the March release of a Trinity Outreach publication, highlighting the service of many past AmeriCorps staff at Trinity.

Yusuf Word served with AmeriCorps in the Trinity Learning Center from 2009-2011, working with middle school students from Jason Lee middle school and Bryant Montessori - Trinity's two school partners. Yusuf currently lives in San Diego, CA where he is a Video Editor for LYON and a freelance filmmaker.

"Working at Trinity was a tremendous opportunity that I truly valued. I made some great friends and learned a lot about myself and what it means to live a life of service leadership.

The most important lesson I learned through that experience was meeting people where they were at, especially when that comes to youth. I was able to help the students create goals for themselves and not just what I wanted for them, but helping them to critically think about their future - a skill that they will need for the rest of their lives.

I also learned what grace looked like, as well as the importance of service ethics. 

It impressed me so much to see the good work that Trinity was doing in the community, whether those people attended Sunday service or not.

I now have over three years of experience working in video production, working as a freelance filmmaker and editor. I have also worked on various television projects as a crew member, including two seasons on the IFC show Portlandia, the CW show Significant Mother, and the NBC show Grimm. I have also worked on commercials for Nike, Kroger and Sol Republic.

Rod and the rest of the Trinity community recognized that I had a passion for video production and being creative, and they helped me to find ways to express that in my work as a staff member at Trinity.

Whether it was making music videos with the youth, creating a Trinity Learning Center Film Festival, making a training video for a teacher that we worked with at Jason Lee, or making a documentary about the history of Trinity as a church, I always felt supported in my dreams at Trinity.  While working with our youth, I was also able to learn a craft and turn that into a career."

Want to read more? Check out last week's AmeriCorps highlight of Amber Englund, a 2006-2008 AmeriCorps Alumnus.

Trinity continues to utilize AmeriCorps members in our Education Programs through our partnership with the Northwest Leadership Foundation's Urban Leaders in Training Program.