When you walk into the Appleton Habitat ReStore and run into Assistant Manager, Beni, you not only see laughter and spunk, you’re also seeing a two time AmeriCorps Alumn.
After finishing her bachelor’s degree, Beni wanted to dig in and give back while challenging herself to step outside her comfort zone. Through her first AmeriCorps VISTA term, Beni served as a specialist at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming.
As a native of Neenah, this was a great opportunity for Beni to get out and experience a new location and new position. She was working in a town that’s main intersection was a four-way stop sign and performing tasks outside her wheelhouse.
“I graduated with a degree in Political Science but grad school or law school was out of the question in my mind at the time. Working on behalf of kids was a fun and exciting prospect I’d never really done before,” said Beni.
The experience with the year went incredibly well. So well in fact that once she returned home to the Fox Cities, she applied for another year with AmeriCorps VISTA, this time with the Appleton Habitat ReStore.
“My year with the Habitat ReStore really solidified what was important to me. Being a part of a mission that works to serve those in need was, and still is, in everything I do. Getting hired on as a staff member was my best memory because it meant that I could make this organization’s mission a part of my life on a daily basis.”
Beni completed her VISTA term in 2010 and was hired on as Assistant Manager in the same year. In 2016 she celebrates her 6th year as staff with the organization.
Her VISTA days haven’t left her, however. She still volunteers weekly with Boys and Girls Brigade and is a member of Neenah Rotary where their slogan, Service Above Self, is the core of who she is.
“AmeriCorps was a great reminder that our country and our communities need help and we need to be the ones that help each other. AmeriCorps solidified my role in service. The notion and importance of service has stuck with me ever since. I’d recommend AmeriCorps to everyone that is able.”
Fox Cities Habitat has partnered with AmeriCorps since 2008 and has had the opportunity to build capacity through nearly 20 members during this time. Do you or someone you know want to join the Fox Cities Habitat AmeriCorps legacy? Check in at FoxCitiesHabitat.org/careers for available positions.