Letter from the Editor
Let me start off by welcoming all readers to the 2014-2015 AmeriCorps Newsletter. I could not be more excited to be on the PR committee with such an enthusiastic team. In even better news, we had two more members, Blake and Quincy, who joined AmeriCorps and the PR committee! What a month this has been for our AmeriCorps members! The goal of our first newsletter is to share stories from the Swinburne office, our experiences/concerns in our various centers, a delicious recipe, profiles of our new members, our reflections of what we do and you might even laugh.
Please give this newsletter a pardon, just this once. We are a work in progress, and we will continue this year always improving our quality for our readers. I look forward to the rest of this year working with my fine staff of writers and photographers.
Welcome to our 2014-2015 AmeriCorps Members! I am so happy to be working with each and every one of our Members this service year. This year promises to be a rewarding, challenging, and exciting year. All of our Members have hit the ground running and I’m excited to see how it all plays out. Our Members are already making contributions to people’s lives through job seeking assistance, resume writing, and all-around support. With 18 new Members this year, I’m sure we’ll be opening new avenues of outreach, new sites for team service, and new opportunities for growth. Stay tuned for more news about this year’s Members!
Priya’s Profiles – The Swinburne Office
The Capital Area Workforce center at Swinburne is located at the Wake County Human Services building on 220 Swinburne Street in Raleigh, NC, 27610. As one of the larger sites, we currently have 5 AmeriCorps Members serving at Swinburne: Ashley Nelson, Pooja Shah, Sylvia Hill, Priya Balagopal, and Nicole Coscolluela. The Site Supervisor is Carmen Carroll. At Swinburne, AmeriCorps members spend most of their time “on the floor” working in the Computer Resource Center (CRC) to assist clients with a variety of job search tasks. After guiding them through a PowerPoint orientation of services offered and registering them on NC Works, AmeriCorps members show clients how to use the job search and resume building features in addition to updating their personal profiles. The Workforce Center is considered to be a self-service area where clients work independently on job searching and applications, although they are free to ask questions at any time. One-on-one appointments are done in a more private area of the CRC for individuals meeting our target population, although members often engage in informal one-on-one assistance if they notice some clients who may need a little extra assistance. The Center currently has 16 computers for client use, as well as free printing, copying, faxing, and phone service for employment-related purposes.
AmeriCorps members have the privilege of working with a variety of other professionals including Talent Development Advisors from Rescare, JobCorps specialists, NCBA representatives, Food and Nutrition Services employees, Wake Tech staff, Cornerstone liaisons, and other human services employees affiliated with employment. Indeed, although specializing in employment services, the CRC contains an abundance of resource pamphlets and documents for clients who are interested in other services like housing assistance, ESL classes, veteran services, and youth employment programs. Swinburne also regularly offers an Employment Assistance Lab every Monday and Thursday afternoon conducted by professionals from Wake Tech for individuals who want extra help with resumes and job leads. Flyers are updated and posted on a daily basis with information regarding new job openings, hiring events, and job fairs at other sites. The Workforce Center at Swinburne is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., with additional hours until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday evenings. The main number for the office is (919)-250-3770. We welcome you to visit and utilize our one-stop services for all of your employment needs!
Chef Chelsea & the Secret Ingredient
Poor Man’s Chipotle
- 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts Halfed
- ½ a Lime, juiced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 packet taco spice mix
- ½ teaspoon tomato paste (optional)
For the Rice
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ lime
- A of pinch of cilantro
For the Burrito Salad
- ¾ cup sliced bell peppers (any color combo)
- ½ cup diced tomatoes
- ½ cup diced onions
- ½ cup of canned corn
- ½ cup of canned black beans
- 1 cup chopped Romaine lettuce
- bunch of chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup sour cream (optional)
- Cook the rice (I use my rice cooker but you can buy the microwavable packets too). Place 1 tablespoons of butter on the rice to melt with the heat off. Cover and set aside. The cilantro and lemon will be added later before serving.
- In a medium bowl, mix the halved chicken breasts with the olive oil, tomato paste and taco spice mix. Squeeze half of a lime on the mixture and mix. Cover the chicken and allow to marinate in fridge for anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 day.
- Heat a grill, griddle or pan on medium-high heat, place chicken on grilled and cook for 5 minutes on each side (make sure the juice runs clear). Remove from heat and set aside to chop up.
- While the chicken is on the grill chop all of the veggies, and salad.
- After the chicken has finished cooking and the rice is ready, in a medium bowl toss the rice with minced cilantro and the juice of half a lime. (I like to throw the peppers, corn, beans and onions on the grill for a few minutes). Spoon the rice into bowls and top with salad mixture. Place chicken on top and top with 1 teaspoon of sour cream (optional).
- Eat & enjoy!!
“Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.”
That drive that comes with wanting to win is what really counts. Just because you can’t conquer the universe doesn’t mean you can’t conquer the world and just because you can’t conquer the world doesn’t mean you can’t conquer yourself.
Photos from activities and meetings!
A man has a heart attack and is brought to the hospital ER. The doctor tells him that he will not live unless he has a heart transplant right away. Another doctor runs into the room and says, “You’re in luck, two hearts just became available, so you will get to choose which one you want. One belongs to an attorney and the other to a social worker”.
The man quickly responds, “The attorney’s”.
The doctor says, “Wait! Don’t you want to know a little about them before you make your decision?”
The man says, “I already know enough. We all know that social workers are bleeding hearts and the attorney’s probably never used his. So I’ll take the attorney’s!”
Clint’s Corner – Mysophobia
With Halloween approaching, I thought it would be somewhat appropriate to introduce the growing fear of disease outbreak. Normally, I am not the kind of person that worries about germs. However, now that I am slightly more mature and working closely with so many interesting individuals almost every day, my precaution dictates I go through an entire bottle of GermX in a couple of days. I think it is safe to assume that this newly acquired fear of infection originates from the recent Ebola cases in the United States. Also, the slew of people coughing without covering their mouths, sneezing on the screens and keyboards, wiping their noses with their hands and continuing to use the public computers without any regards to spreading diseases does NOT help. Sure, we spray the computers down with Lysol, but that only helps the computers a little. There are still germ spreading opportunities everywhere.
I was helping the lady who was holding just the most adorable infant in her arm the other day. I cannot remotely remember what I helped that lady with that day; what I can remember was that little bundle of joy grabbing my badge with her tiny grimy hands that not only did I not know have been, but I am assuming she did not know where her hands had been either. My best guesses are probably her mouth, her nostrils, maybe even her diaper. I suppose I am grateful she did not put my badge in her mouth. Regardless, my badge was promptly cleansed afterwards. Then there are some people that have such an interesting smell to them that the smell begins to affect your other senses. For example, the smell sometimes gets in your mouth, and in extreme cases it made my ears ring.
What is a person to do when they are scared of getting diseases? Should I just stay in my own little corner? Should I go to extreme measures? It is not like I can show up in a Hazmat suit, approaching the public with my hands up like a surgeon who just finished sterilizing their hands saying, “Alright, let’s find you some employment opportunities!” I am pretty sure people might take some offense to that… I am not ignorant to the fact that I am, as well as everyone else, a breeding ground for bacteria. I just do not want someone else’s personal breed of bacteria on my person.
I know I can clean everything I want as much as I want, but I do not want to be that kind of person. I mean, I guess it is a way of life, but I do not want that to be my way of life. There is this common saying I had at one of my previous jobs. When someone did something irreversible, realizing they had made a mistake, and was wondering if it was going to be okay; someone else would always respond, “Well, I guess it’s gonna have to be okay now.” So here I am, in this center, with everyone else and their germs, taking it one person at a time, one day at a time. I think I will be getting a flu shot this year.
I’m Blake Cotton and I hail from Louisville, KY. I graduated from the University of Louisville in 2010, with a degree in Communication and a concentration in Creative Advertising. Pretty soon after graduating, I realized I didn’t want to pursue that particular career anymore. I think I came to this realization while working at a summer camp for kids with disabilities and serious illnesses, called Victory Junction. To sum it up, it’s less of a summer camp and more like an overnight theme park. It was such a great experience that I decided to look for other jobs like it. So, from there I went to Breckenridge, CO to teach adaptive skiing. If you’ve ever been snow skiing and seen a visually impaired person or someone skiing sitting down, that’s what I taught. Somewhere between those two jobs I decided Occupational Therapy was the right career path for me. So, that’s where I’m at now! I’ll hopefully be applying to the OT program at UNC by December 2015.
That’s my career story in a nutshell. In my free time love to run, backpack, snow ski, and for the past few years I’ve been attempting to make my own beer. My favorite movie is Cool Hand Luke, my favorite color is red, and my favorite food is lemon chicken pesto pasta.
Quincy McAdoo was born in Chapel Hill, NC and grew up in Efland, NC. Former collegiate athlete of Wilkes Junior College and The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. His first love is basketball but really enjoys watching boxing. While attending undergraduate at University of North Carolina at Pembroke he started writing and creating The Ring King comic book inspired by his all-time favorite boxers Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Muhammad Ali and Roy Jones. He has a Bachelor degree at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke in Business Administration concentrating in marketing. Before joining AmeriCorps Quincy worked in Corporate America but was extremely bored and decided to join Team AmeriCorps.
Being new to a group always provokes a certain level of anxiety, but to be honest being new to this group was a tad bit easier than my last job. I worked in a school and most of my coworkers were on the opposite side of the career spectrum. I’m not saying we didn’t eventually find common ground or share the occasional chuckle, but it took a while. As it turns out, wiping noses, breaking up fights, receiving angry emails, and being underfunded for 20+ years, creates bonds that are tighter than I had previously imagined. It can be hard to be the new kid.
So, imagine my relief when I not only got a full introduction to our AmeriCorps group, but people immediately wanted to get to know me. No hoops to jump through, no feats of strength, just friendly coworkers. It may be obvious, but I think starting at relatively the same time gives a team a great advantage. By contrast if we were in a school setting, we would all be coming in at different times in our career, which would mean going through the stages of team development over and over.
I’m excited to be starting this year long adventure, and to get to know this team.
I have spent the last 11 years working at the Wake County Eastern Regional Center (ERC) as a security guard. I find myself coming back here in a completely different capacity. Where once I was a security guard protecting the people from whatever dangers might enter the ERC, I am now securing employment for my community and guarding the others from unemployment. I already know these people. So, communicating with them in the same environment with a different disposition really makes you think about how you never know where life will take you. Becoming an AmeriCorps member was worth this transition, and I eagerly look forward towards the rest of my service.