AmeriCorps members often learn new passions or solidify existing interests during their service experience. This was definitely the case for 25-year-old Ryan Van Curen. Currently in his second AmeriCorps service year, Ryan shares about his experiences with City Year in Columbus and how it has shaped him personally and professionally. Question: Where do you serve? Answer: I have served with City Year Columbus since 2018 and will be done later this year at the end of the program year. Q: What do you do in this role? A: I have served in two different 7-12 th grade level high schools/academies providing mentorship and academic, behavior and attendance coaching for students. Q: How has serving as an AmeriCorps member impacted your life? A: Serving as an AmeriCorps member has impacted me in many ways. I have become more empathetic because of my experience, and it is has helped me learn how to build strong relationships with others. I feel more connected to my community because of my service and I intend to keep finding ways to make a positive impact on it in the future thanks to what I have learned serving! Q: What have you enjoyed most about your experience? A: The thing I’ve enjoyed most about my experience is the relationships I have been able to form with my students. They constantly make me smile and laugh and have helped me become a better person. I love to see them gain confidence in themselves and grow as students and people. Q: Would you recommend joining AmeriCorps to your peers? Why or why not? A: I would absolutely recommend joining AmeriCorps. Serving helped me grow so much personally and professionally and has opened pathways for me that I never would have imagined. It is an excellent opportunity to learn about your community while giving back to it. Q: What’s next for you? A: I am currently deciding between law school and graduate school for school counseling.