In honor of AmeriCorps Week, we are pleased to provide an update on one of our best AmeriCorps graduates, Maddy Riordan. Maddy served a year with Playworks during the 2012-13 school year at Clement Avenue Elementary and has been very active in the Milwaukee community ever since. See what she has to say about her most recent endeavors and how Playworks influenced her career.
Where do you work or attend school now?
I am currently studying at UW-Milwaukee, pursuing my Master's Degree in urban studies along with a graduate certificate in nonprofit leadership and management. I also work for the Urban Studies Program as a project assistant and I am the editor of our online journal, e.polis. I also serve on the Board of Directors for Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, Milwaukee Chapter, and on their outreach committee. Most importantly, though, I am mother to beautiful one-year-old, Penny.
How did Playworks influence your current position?
Playworks contributed to my interest in the nonprofit field and into the urban population of Milwaukee. I did my first research paper for graduate school about the effectiveness of nonprofits in Milwaukee Public Schools through the lens of Playworks at Clement Avenue Elementary, the school where I served. While I had some background interest in urban populations and nonprofits before my year of service, Playworks cultivated that interest and allowed me to bring my own personal spin on play.
What is something that you learned as an AmeriCorps member that has helped you be successful?
I have been fortunate enough to be involved in two AmeriCorps programs, City Year in Little Rock, Arkansas and Playworks in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The connections that I have made in both of these programs will be lifelong. One of my biggest mentors is the program director of Playworks Wisconsin, Dan Schiller and some of my best friends are ones that I made through City Year. AmeriCorps expanded not only my view of the world, but the view of my immediate community as well.
Please share any goals you have for your future.
I see myself continuing to work with nonprofit organizations in my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin to positively impact the community that has given me so much. I would like to work with low-income communities to create positive changes to areas that have seen so much hardship.