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Getting Things Done For Ohio

Every day, Ohioans are making extraordinary contributions to the communities where they live, work, and play. Learn more about the impact AmeriCorps members and volunteers have on the communities they serve, stay current on service and volunteerism trends, and be the first to know about upcoming funding opportunities, events, and special initiatives.


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AmeriCorps Member Profile: Ohio Stream Restore Corps

Fresh out of Ohio University with a degree in plant biology, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do between my undergraduate studies and graduate school. Hike the Appalachian Trail, yeah, that could be fun. A job with the U.S. Forest Service continuing my thesis research would be great experience and solid pay. But when I saw the flier for the Ohio Stream Restore Corps AmeriCorps program, I had to apply. An opportunity to use my scientific background and grow my interpersonal skills while giving back to the region I had called home for four years was not something I could let slide by.

Nine months into my term with Rural Action's watershed restoration program, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in Appalachian Ohio. Week after week I am challenged with a new task, whether it be organizing a community event, fundraising for summer camps, or leading elementary school students on a stream exploration. Few jobs would allow the opportunity for such diverse experiences while at the same time supporting your growth as a professional and a person. The traits I have developed--compassion, tolerance, patience, and a touch of improv-- will guide me through the next 5 years as I navigate a PhD plant biology program at Pennsylvania State University.

While I will not be pursuing a PhD in community development, my term in OSRC has prepared me for life's next challenge. To succeed as a researcher in today's world, you must be willing to reach out to others and collaborate. My involvement with the project to turn acid mine drainage into a marketable paint pigment inspires me to pursue research that can translate into on-the-ground change. I have gained confidence in instructing and mentoring others, crucial to being a successful scientist at an academic institution.

Serving with a non-profit organization is humbling and shows you how different the world can be from your perception. I hope to retain my ties to southeastern Ohio and forge new connections to my next place of residence. For when we value where we live and the people around us, life attains a richness that cannot be undermined. Thank you to Michelle, Shannon, watershed colleagues, and my fellow AmeriCorps  members who have made this year one for the record books. Keep on getting things done for America!

--- Jeremy Held, Rural Action, Ohio Stream Restore Corps



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