When KSC graduate Alyssa Day is not hanging out with her friends, relaxing, or traveling throughout New England, she is volunteering within the Keene community, as working with a number of clubs that are here on campus.
AmeriCorps VISTA is a national service program that was created to help fight poverty and work with individuals, along with communities, to help better health services and help out low-income communities. Day is currently in her second year with AmeriCorps.
Along with working for AmeriCorps VISTA, Day is involved with the Center for Engagement, Learning, and Teaching as well.
Circle K, Bigs Club, First Book, Relay for Life, blood drives, community kitchen, and driving force are just some of the work Day is involved with. While she attends meetings for each club once a week she helps out with paperwork, makes sure that the groups stay within their budgets, and supervises students as well.
“It is a great feeling to be a mentor; I try to take my experiences, whether they are good or bad, and try to help them with their experiences and their ways of life,” Day said.
Day interned with coordinator of Student Activities, Jen Ferrell, her senior year of college. She was dedicated and hard-working and loved helping others, and Ferrell could see she enjoyed what she does.
“She has an obvious passion for community service,” Ferrell said.
Working alongside Ferrell really helped Day become familiar with the community service office. Ferrell was a big reason why Day decided on continuing on with community service after she finished college.
“Her work ethic, professionalism, and contagious passion she displayed for her job really helped spark an interest in me to continue my involvement after college,” Day said. “Especially beginning my career in higher education.”
“She knows why she is here, and she is super dedicated to her work,” Ferrell said.
Alternative Spring Break was also a factor that contributed to Days interest of working and helping others. The work she did in a local food pantry, along with tutoring inner-city children, helped her realize that she loved the feeling of helping others.
“It’s honestly one of those experiences you have that is too hard to put into words. When I came back from Atlanta, I began to process what I wanted my life to be like and that is really when AmeriCorps seemed to be the next best option for my future,” Day said.
Day is helping to bridge a gap between Experimental Education and the Community Service office as well. Since there is no centralized area on campus, Day created a website that provides information to all faculty and students about community service, volunteering, and community-based research that are both on campus as well as off.
“The hope is that one day there will not only be an online resource on campus, but an actual office that combines all of these wonderful opportunities to our campus and community,” Day said.
“It is an important thing Alyssa has done in streamlining our community,” Rebecca Hickam of CELT said.
Not only do students look up to Day as a role model, they feel they could talk to her about anything, as she is also a friend and just like everybody else.
“She is one of us, she is very real,” Cory Valentine, coordinator of America Reads said.
Senior Adrienne Osbourne added, “Alyssa is extremely helpful, and very knowledgeable.”
Day does not view this as work, but something she enjoys doing. She loves helping out and being able to put a smile on people’s faces.
“It is a sense of accomplishment to affect somebody’s life,” Day said.
“She is really great working with students,” Hickam said.
Not only do students look up to her, but she looks up to them as well.
“I look up to these students as well, they inspire me,” Day said.
Day encourages students to get out there and volunteer.
“We get so accustomed to our lives and those around us that we don’t normally have an opportunity to step outside of our own bubble. However, when we do, we see that volunteering is not only about helping out but it’s about building a stronger community, whether on campus, in your neighborhood, town/city, nation, or even the entire world.”
Although sometimes it may be challenging, Day does not wish to be in any other place then she is in right now.
“Through service I have put myself into situations that have challenged my own perspectives and even my comfort zone, but I have found those to be the most rewarding experiences because it has been extremely essential to my personal growth.”
Lindsay Ross can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org