Meet Our Member – Jessie Phillips
Volunteer Outreach Member at Central Vermont Council on Aging
Jessie graduated from Saint Michael’s College with a B.A. in Psychology in May of 2014. She worked for Washington County Mental Health for 14 months as a Residential Counselor, and was looking to gain experience with different populations when she came across the AmeriCorps position at the Central Vermont Council on Aging. In her free time, Jessie enjoys horseback-riding, hiking, reading and Netflix. An interesting fact about Jessie? She has a SERIOUS sweet tooth.
What is a typical day like in your position with AmeriCorps?
The best part of my AmeriCorps experience thus far is that there is no typical day. My host site, the Central Vermont Council on Aging, serves anyone who is sixty years of age or older. I have a dual role: I do short-term direct service with clients (1-3 visits), and I also recruit volunteers and facilitate the match between a volunteer and a client for longer term services. Therefore, on any given day I might be stacking wood, vacuuming for a client who has just returned from the hospital or interviewing a volunteer who is generously donating their time to serve the elders in their communities.
Why did you join VHCB AmeriCorps?
I joined AmeriCorps to be able to gain experience while giving back to my community.
What has surprised you most about serving with AmeriCorps?
The instant connection that I shared with my fellow AmeriCorps members. Although we do not get to see each other on a regular basis, I always look forward to getting together and feeling part of a group dedicated to giving back to the community.
What is the highlight of serving at your site?
The highlight of serving at the CVCA is definitely the people. I have had the privilege of meeting some amazing volunteers who come from a variety of backgrounds, and are dedicated to serving the elders in their community. I also feel honored to be able to serve a number of elders throughout Central Vermont who have already enriched my experience in the short amount of time I have been an AmeriCorps Member. The staff here at the Central Vermont Council on Aging have been so welcoming, and made me feel right at home.
What would you like other people to know about serving with VHCB AmeriCorps?
The power of listening. Many times throughout our day we are multi-tasking between multiple technologies, social interactions and our own mental state that day, but there is so much that can be gained from actively listening to someone. So many clients just want to be heard, and by allowing a few moments of your undivided attention, you will be amazed the positive effect this simple act can have on both parties.