At the commencement of their service term, AmeriCorps members delved into an intensive three-week training program. During this time, AmeriCorps members equipped themselves with the skills and knowledge needed for effectively serving students throughout the year. These pivotal training weeks, also known as “Welcome Weeks,” provide a comprehensive curriculum spanning various crucial aspects, from diversity, equity and inclusion to the intricacies of guiding students in their quest for the ideal college match and perseverance to obtain their college degree.
During Welcome Weeks, each College Possible site participated in both national-led and site-specific training sessions. Notably, in the first week, a standout session at the College Possible Omaha office was the “Who’s Who and Who to Ask” presentation which allowed AmeriCorps members to familiarize themselves with office staff, a critical step preceding an exciting scavenger hunt.
The scavenger hunt involved tracking down puzzle pieces strategically placed throughout the office. These puzzle pieces, when collectively assembled, revealed the words: “College Possible Omaha AmeriCorps 2023-2024.” Besides its recreational aspect, this activity served a broader purpose – facilitating a comprehensive introduction to the entire office staff. AmeriCorps members, working as a cohesive team, leveraged the insights gained during the “Who’s Who” session to find their clues and puzzle pieces, demonstrating the importance of teamwork and unity in College Possible and AmeriCorps.
In the week following, the College Possible Omaha full-time staff and College Possible AmeriCorps members undertook an enlightening field trip to Project Harmony, a local child advocacy center. Here, the team attended an in-depth training session dedicated to recognizing and addressing child abuse and neglect. The training covered the identification of signs indicating potential abuse and neglect, real-life scenarios to enhance comprehension, and informative videos detailing the steps for reporting, should intervention be necessary.
During the third week of their training, AmeriCorps members continued to deepen their roles as College Possible coaches. They dedicated their time to thoroughly reviewing the curriculum, ensuring their readiness to effectively guide their students. Additionally, they received comprehensive training in leading coaching conversations, a crucial skill for mentoring and supporting their assigned students throughout their educational journey.
Welcome Weeks have been a transformative period for AmeriCorps members, equipping them with essential skills and fostering unity as they prepare for a year of impactful service with College Possible. Now well-prepared and motivated, AmeriCorps members are set to guide their students on educational journeys, with these Welcome Weeks serving as a strong foundation for a year of impactful service, unity, and empowerment.