Last week, our AmeriCorps members and students at Lake View High School had the opportunity to participate in a round table discussion with Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, who was sworn into office earlier this year. Sen. Duckworth, a veteran who received a Purple Heart after serving in the Iraq War, is a strong supporter of national service programs.
The senator was interested to hear about the experiences of the AmeriCorps staff during their year of service and the reasons that motivated them to join the organization. Executive Director Christine Poorman began the discussion by describing the College Possible program and its results in Chicago thus far. Our AmeriCorps members, many of whom were low-income, first-generation college students themselves, then described their experiences serving students, and what they aspire to accomplish in the future.
The senator then sat with a group of College Possible students and invited them to share their thoughts and ask her questions. Sen. Duckworth, whose family struggled financially throughout her high school and college years, provided words of inspiration. She talked openly about her challenges and shared her belief that success is unique to each individual, based on their goals. She also encouraged the students to keep persisting toward their goals, emphasizing that many accomplishments are only achieved after experiencing failure.
We are grateful for Sen. Duckworth’s commitment to national service, and are honored by her interest in our program.