Name: Heather Grim
Host Site: College Unbound
Where’d you go to school? Bridgewater State University, majored in Communication Studies and Psychology
What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to work in Learning and Development (also referred to as Training and Development) or Organization Development, which is similar. I am fascinated by the power of people development and effective internal processes, and how these mechanisms work together to support organizational efficiency.
If you could have any super power, what would it be? I would have the ability to eat all the dessert I want without ever having to buy bigger jeans.
Story of Service:
When I think of my experience with AmeriCorps, I feel a great sense of personal development. I have realized, to a greater extent, the power and necessity of giving of oneself. I recall a day when I volunteered to put together packages for our troops. It was outdoors and the heat was intense. A drop of sweat rolled from my face and onto the letter I was writing to a soldier. At that moment it occurred to me that I didn’t know enough about sacrifice. There I was, feeling good about myself for volunteering that day. It didn’t take much of a sacrifice for me to do it, but what were the soldiers sacrificing? They were sacrificing it all- literally everything. It really made me think
I have also experienced much personal development at my host site, as well as professional development. I work with an amazing team of people and I am treated like a regular employee, rather than a volunteer, temp or intern. It’s a supportive and collaborative environment where individuals are encouraged to grow and maximize their potential.
As an Online Systems Coordinator and Academic Adviser, I have supported College Unbound’s mission of increasing college access and completion. As someone who strongly believes that anyone who wishes to pursue higher education should be able to do so, I feel empowered by my work. Being able to do a bit of direct work with our students has been incredible for a few reasons. It has given me a deeper understanding of the impact that College Unbound has on its students. It has opened my eyes to the challenges in higher education. It has exposed me to amazing people, each with unique talents, passions and personal stories. It has even helped me gain relevant career experience. Since I wish to work in learning and development (particular the aspect of employee training), facilitating in an adult learning environment is great for me. It has shown me my strengths and weaknesses and has pushed me out of my comfort zone.
Speaking of which, I read a great once. I’m not sure who the author is, but I read it in Reader’s Digest. It goes like this: “Life begins where your comfort zone ends.” This is a good quote to help describe my story of service with AmeriCorps. I was hesitant to sign on because it wasn’t part of my plan (I’m a stickler for planning) and it was outside of my comfort zone. Something deep down inside told me I had to do this. As a result, I have learned so much about myself and of the world beyond. I’ve learned how to be more flexible and to have more confidence in my abilities. I’ve connected with truly wonderful people- fellow VISTAS, my host site team, and our students. I’ve been in awe of community members’ contributions to society. The list goes on, but the takeaway here is that I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of AmeriCorps and College Unbound.