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The Maine Commission for Community Service Hosts AmeriCorps Member Conference

April 1st, 2009

Belfast- Nearly 100 AmeriCorps Members from across the state came together on March 25th at the Hutchinson Center for their annual Member Conference to share stories and strategies for success. This Member-led conference featured Maryli Tiemann as its keynote speaker, Civic Reflection facilitators graciously provided by the Maine Humanities Council, a PeaceCorps representative, and ten workshops designed by and for AmeriCorps Members.

Focusing on the conference theme of civic engagement, the keynote address got the day off to a very thoughtful and reflective start. Members were invited to reflect on their own experiences and share stories of the challenges and triumphs they had seen in their terms of service. After this very productive and collaborative exercise, members left the keynote address with a renewed attention to ‘focusing on the now.’ In the words of one member serving in Portland, “it really helped remind me why I am doing this work and gave me ideas about my direction for the future.”

Following the keynote address members participated in Civic Reflection exercises where they engaged in lively discussions regarding the different facets of any experience for different people. This discussion enabled members to openly discuss varying points of view, and encouraged them to identify different approaches to the variety of issues faced by AmeriCorps Members.

The second half of the conference focused on workshops designed by and for AmeriCorps Members. Conference topics included wide-ranging topics such as ‘Getting Started with Service Learning’, and ‘Eating healthy on the AmeriCorps Stipend.’ Each topic provided tools that Members can put to use in their term of service.

The Maine Commission for Community Service builds capacity and sustainability in Maine's volunteer sector by funding service programs, developing managers of volunteers, raising awareness of the scope and impact of the sector, and encouraging an ethic of service. To learn more about the Maine Commission for Community Service visit our web-site at www.maineservicecommission.gov.