Americorps helps

For Jessica Eskridge, donating her time and skills isn’t anything new, although it is for the Tri-Cities.
Krystle Wagner
Apr 1, 2013

Eskridge works for Grand Haven’s Neighborhood Housing Services through the Michigan Foreclosure Prevention Corps — an AmeriCorps program working on issues from housing need, education and problems facing senior citizens.

The Tri-Cities also has an AmeriCorps member through the Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes.

Neighborhood Development Coordinator Char Seise said it’s the first time the area has had AmeriCorps members providing their services. The impact of Eskridge’s work hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Eskridge does the same work as a full-time employee but at a lower pay rate in the form of a stipend. It is partially paid for by the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, Seise said.

Eskridge said her services allow companies the same type of work by an employee, but at a lower rate. When Eskridge worked with a school in Detroit by tutoring at-risk students, she said her services filled a void where the school couldn’t afford to pay others.

“Every non-profit is struggling right now,” she said.

A 2007 Grand Haven High School graduate, Eskridge said there are benefits such as deferring student loan payments and the opportunity to earn scholarships toward tuition that come from her job.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.
 

Comments

SignalMaintainer

I have a friend who is with AmeriCorps up in Petoskey... They pay peanuts ($1.50-$2/hr on average). It is almost laughable. She has a hard time even buying food just for herself, and she is VERY frugal.

Yes, they provide good services, but they force their volunteers to live in poverty and use taxpayer-funded welfare. She was actually screamed at simply for trying to find part time employment on the side. Volunteering is awesome (and I volunteer a great amount of time with no compensation), but AmeriCorps tries to disguise underpaid, contractual labor as 'volunteering with a stipend'.

SignalMaintainer

Forgot to say, I applaud those who volunteer their time through AmeriCorps, other organizations, or even on their own.

It is just sad that AC demands that these volunteers basically give up outside employment and dedicate their lives to the program while they are enrolled, and yet does not even pay them enough to reasonably live on.

Jenn61

Good for you Jessica, you're awesome!

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