Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Introducing Jeni Goeke (RTS 2012-2013 AmeriCorps Member)!


Rebuilding Together Seattle (RTS) is thrilled to welcome Jeni Goeke to our organization!  Jeni began her service as an AmeriCorps Member (CapacityCorps) at our affiliate on August 15th and will serve for a full year at RTS!   RTS is grateful for Jeni's commitment to serve our organization and the Rebuilding Together network as a whole.

Let's hear from Jeni!

1. For our supporters who might not be familiar, what is AmeriCorps? What is CapacityCorps?  

AmeriCorps is a program started by the U.S. federal government and is a division of the Corporation for National and Community Service.  One of the branches of AmeriCorps is AmeriCorps State and National, which provides grants to local and national organizations and agencies to assist them in recruiting, training and placing AmeriCorps members with their organization to meet community needs.  CapacityCorps is Rebuilding Together’s program of AmeriCorps members that serve at the different affiliates all over the country.  CapacityCorps is directed by a team of people that are based at the National Office in D.C.  AmeriCorps members serve in different non-profits in exchange for a modest living stipend, an excellent experience in a nonprofit, and assistance with educational expenses and/or loans.

2. Why did you decide to pursue AmeriCorps?

I decided to pursue AmeriCorps because I knew it would be a great way to get experience serving with a non-profit, which is where I see myself working.  I’m also excited by the education grant that I will receive to help pay back my student loans.  Mostly, I knew it would be a new challenge for me where I would not only grow professionally but also personally. 

3. How did you first learn about Rebuilding Together?

I am an avid HGTV fan and I actually heard about Rebuilding Together years ago on a commercial on HGTV and I thought it sounded really cool.  Then, as I was looking at different AmeriCorps positions last Spring I saw that Rebuilding Together had an opening and I applied immediately!

4. Why did you want to relocate to Seattle?

Interestingly, if you had asked me 6 months ago, I would have told you that I had no intention of moving away from Minnesota.  When I applied with Rebuilding Together CapacityCorps, I had to choose my top three location preferences and I chose Seattle as one of my three.  I’d never even visited Seattle until I moved out here in August but ever since I was little, this city held a special place in my heart for some reason.  When I was offered this position, I took all the hints, threw caution to the wind and told Margie I was ready for the adventure.

Why do you believe in the mission of Rebuilding Together Seattle?

I believe in the mission of Rebuilding Together Seattle because I feel like it is important to serve those who are less fortunate.  I believe everyone deserves to have a safe and comfortable place to live and the opportunity to share their story.  I love that Rebuilding Together Seattle gets to know the homeowners they are serving on a personal level and treats each person with dignity.

What are you most looking forward to during your year of service with Rebuilding Together Seattle?  What programs, opportunities, or initiatives interest you the most?

I’m really looking forward to growing in more ways than I can foresee right now.  I know serving with AmeriCorps and Rebuilding Together will bring many opportunities and challenges that I will be able to learn from.  I’m excited that I will be able to have my hands in a number of the different programs that RTS has.  Part of my position will be helping to expand the Veterans Program.  Many people that I’m close to have served in the military so veterans hold a very special place in my heart and I’m blessed to have the opportunity to serve them back.

Tell us a bit about yourself – how do you like to spend your time outside of work?

Outside of work, one of my favorite things to do is puzzles.  I could spend hours on a good puzzle.  I also really enjoy reading and being involved with different things at church.  I love eating, but I don’t like cooking, and lately I’ve been dabbling in some painting and drawing (no pun intended).  And of course, I still love watching HGTV.

Thank you, Jeni! We're so happy to have you on our team!

Rebuilding Together Seattle thanks our 2012-2013 AmeriCorps Member Sponsor for enabling Jeni to serve at our organization and expand our programs to help more homeowners in need of essential home repairs.  If you or your company is interested in serving as an AmeriCorps Sponsor next year, please email mthirlby@rtseattle.org for more information.

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