Kenesha Jackson, a Greater Miami Service Corps alumna member, spoke at the White House as part of a community leaders briefing on Thursday, June 18. Jackson served as a national representative for The Corps Network, the national member organization for America’s Service and Conservation Corps.
During the briefing, Jackson and others discussed how the Corps programs provide education, job training, environmental and community service opportunities for young Americans from a variety of economic, educational, and racial backgrounds. Participants shared their insights on how national service through AmeriCorps helped benefit their communities and their own lives.
Jackson, now a college student, came to Greater Miami Service Corps with no high school diploma, pregnant, and with no direction.
Jackson claims that “the Corps saved my life.” She earned her diploma, learned employability skills, and gained career exposure through the Corps and Miami-Dade County Economic Advocacy Trust.
The Postsecondary Education Initiative programming at the Corps led by The Corps Network provided a pathway for her to enroll in Southern New Hampshire University’s College for America. She gained an AmeriCorps Education Award to support her college tuition. Kenesha enjoys sharing her story with others as a testimony for overcoming obstacles.
“I was shocked my supervisor chose me to go speak in Washington, DC. The experience was overwhelming for me, but I was glad I got a chance to tell my story,” Jackson said.
When asked what advice she would give to anyone who is currently enduring hard times she responded: “Keep moving forward and don’t quit. If I had given up, I would have never been given the opportunity to tell my story in Washington, DC.”
Deborah Dorsett, the executive director at the Greater Miami Service Corps said she was “proud” of Kenesha. “She has had numerous obstacles and has remained resilient. She perservered against all odds and accomplished so much.”
Theron Banks, Jackson’s case manager at the Greater Miami Service Corps, added, “She will succed because she is determined.”
Mary Ellen Sprenkel, president and CEO of The Corps Network, explained, “Briefing our nation’s leaders at the White House was an extraordinary opportunity to highlight the positive impacts of Service and Conservation Corps on young people and their communities, Like the Civilian Conservation Corps of the Great Depression, today’s Corps strengthen our nation and tackle some of America’s greatest challenges.”
Established in 1990 as a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization, Greater Miami Service Corps (GMSC) engages out-of-school young people with employment and training services that reconnect youth to education, community, employment, and toward selfsufficiency. Learn more at www.corpsnetwork.org.