Rayven Peterson served the community in Dayton, Ohio, at OhioServe, Educational Core, in 2018 and during the 2020-2021 project year. Stationed at the Dayton Metro Library’s Madden Hills and Northwest locations, Peterson served the Dayton community through programs aimed toward helping students succeed. Currently, Peterson is a first-year post-bac Doctoral student in the University of Kentucky’s counseling psychology program. Q: What was your role as a member? What community issues did you address? A: As an AmeriCorps member, I was dedicated to serving the youth and families of the Dayton metro area through an educational program named Rock Your Homework. This program was developed during my first year with AmeriCorps in the summer of 2018. This past term, I served as an instructional aide. While serving youth in the Dayton metro area, I was exposed to certain issues that were very salient to me as a Dayton native (i.e., lack of resources both academically and socially). There were youth that were struggling with having access to computers. To not have access to a computer during the earlier stages of the pandemic was detrimental to youth’s ability to succeed in class. The youth of the Dayton community are faced with so many disparities and disadvantages, which has placed them in a deficit academically. The pandemic simply brought those disparities to light. Q: What was your favorite memory from serving? What did you enjoy most about your experience? A: My favorite moment from my most recent term of service was building rapport and a connection with one of the youths who was from Virginia. I enjoyed the fact that I was able to fulfill the role as someone who he could talk to about his interests while also assisting him with any schoolwork he needed to complete. Q: How has AmeriCorps service influenced where you are today? A: AmeriCorps service has been instrumental in my aspirations and goals for my career in counseling. Serving in the capacity of an instructional aide was not singular – it was a role that was varied. I was not only someone youth could come to in need of homework assistance, but I was a person outside of their homes they could confide in about anything going on in their lives. Q: Would you recommend joining AmeriCorps to your peers? Why or why not? A: Yes, I would recommend this program to anyone who is dedicated to giving back to their community in a personable way. To learn more about the AmeriCorps program and to read more alumni stories, click here .