Celebrating our Coaches During AmeriCorps Week | Playworks

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Celebrating our Coaches During AmeriCorps Week

During the week of March 4-11, 2017, AmeriCorps programs all across the country will be celebrating the many contributions that over 80,000 members make each year.

AmeriCorps engages more than 80,000 Americans in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. Playworks started our partnership with AmeriCorps in 2004. This year, Playworks Michigan is proud to have 11 members serving with us in our partner school communities. They are committed to contributing more than 18,000 hours of combined service during the 2016-2017 school year.

A few of our coaches share why they chose to be an AmeriCorps member and support the Playworks Coach program. 


Meet Coach Patrice

What college did you attend?
Michigan State University (Go Green!)

What brought you to Playworks?
The desire to influence youth and affect change while still being able to have fun. This has been my first full-time job out of college so it attracted me based on how it will help me build skills for future career goals.

What are your plans after Playworks?
After Playworks, I would like to continue to work in education or the nonprofit sector in the capacity of direct service or leadership. I plan to start a master's program in educational leadership in the next two years.

What motivates you to work with students?
What motivates me the most to work with students is knowing that I can have a direct impact on their lives, not just in the short term, but in the long term as well. I enjoy being able to encourage students to make better decisions and break bad habits.


Meet Coach Chris

What college did you attend?
Eastern Michigan University

What brought you to Playworks?
I discovered Playworks through the AmeriCorps website and found it to be a great fit for my personality and skill set.

What are your plans after Playworks?
I plan on using my skills gained through Playworks to continue working with kids in school and camp environments. I hope to become a preschool teacher in the long term.

What motivates you to work with students?
Having fun and helping children find their individuality and personality motivates me greatly.


Meet Coach Robyn

What college did you attend?
Benedictine University in Lisle, IL

What brought you to Playworks?
While I was looking for a new job and going to interviews, I was having a very hard time imagining myself working for any of them. I had a great deal of experience working with children and it is something I take pride in doing, but without a teaching degree, career options are limited and I was not excited about the other opportunities I had. I did not believe I could take pride in any of those careers. Then I found Playworks and it seemed like a perfect fit. During my interviews for other jobs at the time, I left feeling so disappointed. I had fun during my Playworks interview and I left knowing I wanted to do this.

What are your plans after Playworks?
I'm hoping to do two years of service for Playworks. During that time, I want to consider other nonprofit organizations in Detroit and get a better understanding of working in public schools. I have considered becoming a school counselor, school psychologist, or a health teacher, while also being a volleyball coach.

What motivates you to work with children?
I believe I can make a difference working with children, but honestly, I do it because I enjoy it. I enjoy watching them grow and learn. It is a great feeling when they drop everything they're doing just to say hi or smile or look at me. I adore being called Coach Robyn or Miss Coach Robyn. I like that I can be a reason they look forward to coming to school.


Meet Coach LaToya

What college did you attend?
Eastern Michigan University

What brought you to Playworks?
I was in need of a job that paid well and would give me the skills to be a better entrepreneur.

What are your plans after Playworks?
Starting my photography business and creating creative content for my media group website.

What motivates you to work with students?
I understand the influence we as adults can have on children, and with that said, I want to have a great influence over the children I connect with.


Meet Coach Eboni

What college did you attend?
I started my schooling at Eastern Michigan University and I am completing my bachelor's degree at Southern New Hampshire University.

What brought you to Playworks?
I was looking for a position where I would be able to run my own program. I had been working at an after-school program for seven years and I was looking to move into a site coordinator position. The problem was that I didn't have, nor do I intend to get, my teaching certificate and that is what is needed to move up in the program I was previously working for. I started looking for a new position last spring and I found Playworks. I am so happy and grateful that I did!

What are your plans after Playworks?
My goal is to use all of my experience working with youth to assist me in opening up my own center one day. I want to create a place where kids can come after school and continue to learn different skills while being in a controlled, safe environment. I also hope to have a summer program for them. 

What motivates you to work with students?
I have always wanted to go into a career field that is directly dealing with children. Throughout my life, my career interests have changed from being a pediatrician to a teacher, and now I am focused on opening my own center. I honestly believe that children are our future, and in order for our future to be bright, we have to invest in our children. People are always too quick to label a child as bad or troubled when all they usually need is someone who cares to ask them a few questions and pay a little attention to them. I want to be that person and have a helping hand in touching the lives of all of those students who are being mislabelled. I would like for people to get into their 20's and 30's and remember me for being the adult in their lives that changed their life for the better!


Interested in becoming a Playworks AmeriCorps member? Learn more!