On National Service Recognition Day, AmeriCorps VISTA Member Shares Her Passion for Service

We are excited to celebrate National Service Recognition Day at The Community Foundation!

This annual day recognizes thousands of AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers across the country, issuing official proclamations and taking to social media in a nationwide show of appreciation. AmeriCorps, a US civil society program, pairs individuals in volunteer service positions at organizations throughout the country. 

This year, The Community Foundation is proud to host Grace Kim, an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) member. Below, meet Grace and learn what national service means to her.

 ‘Building a Community of Learning’ 

Grace Kim started her AmeriCorps service at the Children's Opportunity Fund, an initiative of the Community Foundation, in August 2021. After she graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, she taught English to university students in Mexico as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Due to the pandemic, she returned stateside and continued her work in the nonprofit sector.

 Prior to working with the Community Foundation, Grace worked with non-governmental organizations in Guatemala, Haiti, and the United States. She believes that community development is a means to expand more opportunities and level the playing field. Her passion is to encourage others in becoming the best versions of themselves so that they can thrive - and hope they do the same for the people in their lives.

“Since I grew up in Montgomery County, it has been especially meaningful to serve as an AmeriCorps member at the Children's Opportunity Fund, an initiative of The Greater Washington Community Foundation. Working here has been a learning experience that I'll always look back on. I now have a better understanding of the power that comes from the collaboration of public and private partners in figuring out solutions that can lead to social impact. 

Though I've enjoyed my service overall, my favorite part has been talking to community members who are passionate about children and their education. Their insight on the achievement and opportunity gaps highlighted the role we all play in shaping the lives of children - our future is figuratively in their hands. Encouraging children to read early expands their understanding of the world and boosts their imagination. For that reason, I decided to focus on cultural relevance while planning Read Across America Day. By drawing from different cultural backgrounds that children may have, they become more open to reading, which in turn, facilitates their learning. I believe that it's important to be mindful when coming together as a community to support another generation of lifelong learners.”