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How AmeriCorps service paved the way for T’Netha’s success in the nonprofit sector

Photo Of T'Netha Holding A Photo Prop Frame With Blue And White Steamers Behind Her And Balloons On Each Side Of Her.

Former College Possible coach and AmeriCorps VISTA, T’Netha Bailey, now serves as the donor relations officer at The Hope Center for Kids, where she is thriving in her new role. T’Netha’s journey through College Possible and AmeriCorps prepared her well for this position, blending her passion for community service with her professional development.

T’Netha, a communications studies graduate from Bellevue University, initially never envisioned a career in the nonprofit sector. Her interests originally laid in retail, management, or human resources, fields she felt more familiar with. However, as she learned more about the nonprofit world, she became captivated by its mission to build and serve communities, especially those underserved. “Nonprofits are all about building and serving the community,” she says. “Since I came from an underserved community, I am passionate about doing anything I can to help strengthen my community.”

During her two years at College Possible, T’Netha progressed from being a college success coach to a transition coach and finally a development VISTA. These experiences provided her with a diverse skill set, beneficial in her job search and her current role. As a College Possible coach, she realized a personal goal: “I always wanted to help students with similar backgrounds to mine. Growing up, we relied on community churches for food and clothing. The relief and gratitude I felt then are the same impacts I wanted to have on the students I served. I wanted them to know they have the power within them to achieve their dreams, regardless of the challenges they face.”

One of the most valuable lessons T’Netha honed during her service year was optimizing her LinkedIn profile, a skill that significantly helped her job search. “I didn’t know what I was looking for when I began my job search, but those training sessions helped me reshape my resume and cover letter, making them more professional,” she recalls. Her experiences at College Possible also built her resilience, a trait she continues to draw upon at The Hope Center.

T’Netha’s VISTA role further solidified her career direction, enhancing her professional development. During her job search, she leveraged the training and relationships cultivated with students, leadership, and colleagues. “I have been able to really break through social anxiety thanks to my time at College Possible,” she notes, emphasizing how this growth helped her during interviews and in her current role, where she interacts with donors and community partners. Skills like managing an online calendar and organizing her time, learned at College Possible, have proven invaluable.

Despite early doubts in her career, T’Netha now excels and offers advice to those interested in AmeriCorps service, currently serving, and alumni: “Be yourself. The students, staff, and other coaches will like you for who you are. Just be yourself and be confident in your capabilities. Keep your options open. Don’t be afraid to apply for a job that may seem out of the box or different for you. It might be the one that changes your life for the better!”

T’Netha’s journey is a testament to the power of service, resilience, and keeping an open mind, showing how one can find a fulfilling career path through unexpected avenues.

This piece was written by Say Moo, AmeriCorps member and College Possible coach at College Possible Omaha.

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