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 release of a Trinity Outreach publication, highlighting the service of past AmeriCorps at Trinity's 2016 Annual Meeting.
Amber Englund served in AmeriCorps as Community Partners Liaison from 2006-2008. Currently, Amber lives in Seattle where she is an Infant-Early Childhood Mental health Therapist at the Center for Human Services in North King County and South Snohomish County.
I loved my time at Trinity. It really became a home for me. Some of my favorite memories involved working with the staff and neighborhood for Christmas House, Block Parties, and Back to School Nights. At Trinity, I learned what it meant to live into abundance. When you gather together as a community with all bodies participating there is a richness of support; and when each person gets the opportunity to discover his or her unique talents within that community, then the capacity to bless increases dramatically.
I learned what a gift it is for people in need to be able to have one place to go to meet the majority of their needs. At Trinity, the people I was working with had access to food, clothing, medical care, education support, and community at various times throughout each week. I also learned that children are an access point in supporting and changing entire family systems. Since my time at Trinity, I went on to work in early intervention for children with special needs and then back to graduate school to get a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. I know work with a non-profit community mental health agency that provides family counseling, substance abuse counseling, and family support to the community of North King Co and South Snohomish Co.
Finally, through AmeriCorps at Trinity, I learned how to observe a community to search for the needs of a community. I learned how to draw people together with a common goal and facilitate conversation and development. One of the significant examples of this is seen in my work with the development of the Tacoma Food Co-op. As I was interviewing the people involved in the clothing bank, food bank, medical clinic and other programs, there was a repeated theme of a need for fresh and healthy food for the community. With lots of research, connection to Olympia's Co-op Development Center, and endless community meetings and education - the TFC began.
Trinity continues to utilize AmeriCorps members in our Education Programs through our partnership with the Northwest Leadership Foundation's Urban Leaders in Training Program.