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The “New Normal:” Serving with AmeriCorps

When I began my term of service with AmeriCorps and College Possible, it didn’t take me long to notice how much the students welcomed mentorship. Now in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, these same students appreciate coaching and support more than ever. It has been striking to see how our conversations switched during the last few weeks. We went from discussing the letter of the day and college essays to ensuring they will be fed and have adequate Wi-Fi.

As high school students adjust to the “new normal” of lodging at home and carrying out classes online, they find solace in knowing they are in the majority. We are all trying to navigate these waters of uncharted territory. I, like everyone else, have had to make some major adjustments personally, while providing the constant support students deserve. Instead of meeting with students in school, I have been communicating with them through Google voice, phone calls, video chats and email to ensure I am providing them with as much support as they can possibly handle. Whether it is learning new platforms to help students with their online classes or picking up their school laptop while they are at work, I want students to be confident that they can lean on me while we are living in uncertain times.

Kishauna Harper, AmeriCorps member and College Possible coach

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