Friday, June 21, 2013

RTS thanks Jeni Goeke for serving as our first AmeriCorps Member!

Jeni (R) at The Home Depot Veterans Rebuilding Day (June 13, 2013)

Today, Jeni Goeke, Rebuilding Together Seattle's first AmeriCorps Member, will complete her last day of service at our organization.  Jeni was welcome to RTS in August, and spent the past 10 months completing key rebuilding days, conducting veterans outreach work, and managing the RTS Youth Program.  Jeni did an outstanding job with her role, and enabled RTS to help over 90 families this year, compared to 63 families the previous year. 

 Jeni (L) working away at an AmeriCorps service project!

What RTS has to say about Jeni:

"Jeni has accomplished a lot this past year.  Her greatest accomplishments include restructuring the Youth Program, managing 16 of our 26 homes for National Rebuilding Day, and strengthening our Veterans program. For Jeni’s service project, she revamped the Youth Program so that the structure is more realistic and sustainable moving forward. Over 550 hours of service were logged by our Youth Program volunteers this year. As for NRD, Jeni took on the huge task of managing 16 home repair projects while working with approximately 30 Project Leaders from the various sponsoring organizations.  This required a tremendous amount of organization and attention to detail in order to carry out successful projects.  Jeni also took it upon herself to strengthen our Veterans program.  She conducted outreach throughout the year with veteran organizations which has lead to greater visibility and notoriety for RTS in the veteran service provider community.  During outreach meetings, Jeni asked strategic questions about veteran culture to learn how we can better reach and communicate with veterans in need of our services.  She was also a part of the decision to change (increase) our income requirements for veterans and their families with the hope that we will be able to serve more veterans every year.   

Other successes include Jeni’s involvement with the creation of a post-project survey for clients, a restructuring of our site preview process, and the creation of a RTS AmeriCorps packet that can be passed on and revised to help train our new members each year.  Jeni was a highly efficient member of our team who was very skilled at managing multiple projects simultaneously and ensuring that her work was complete.  She was always willing to roll up her sleeves and help her colleagues when needed. We will miss these great assets that she brought to our team!" 
-Claire Oatey, AmeriCorps Site Supervisor (former Program Associate)

What was your favorite thing about serving as an AmeriCorps Member for Rebuilding Together (CapacityCorps)? 

Serving as an AmeriCorps Member with Rebuilding Together National was a very special experience. To know that I have fellow service members all over the country was very motivating. I have made valuable relationships with my fellow CapacityCorps members and it’s nice to know that I will have friends almost anywhere I go.

What I love about Rebuilding Together is the meeting of two people that, in any other context, might never meet. Through Rebuilding Together, not only do they get to meet, but usually they both impact each other’s lives in ways that they never saw coming, and I just think that’s amazing.

Jeni (C) with RTS Youth Program members

What Jeni has to say about RTS:

What was your favorite memory during your time at Rebuilding Together Seattle?

It’s hard to pick just one favorite memory from my time at RTS but one of them was Spring Rebuilding Day (April 27th).  I was only able to visit about 7 or 8 of the 28 projects that were taking place and I was amazed by all the volunteers I saw working, and working happily! I remember stepping back and realizing that the volunteers I saw were just a small portion of the people that were selflessly serving that day. I still feel humbled by the number of volunteers all over the city of Seattle that were willing to dedicate their free day to helping someone else. Whenever I think back to that feeling, I can’t help but smile.

What did you like the most about working at RTS?  What will you miss the most?

The RTS community (Staff, Board, Donors, Volunteers, etc.) is one of the best ones I’ve ever had the privilege of stepping into. I have felt welcomed, supported and valued since my 1st hour of service to my 1700th hour, and I know it won’t stop here. Everyone in the RTS community is deeply passionate about what they do and why they do it. They are a family that works together, mourns together and laughs together and it has been my honor to be a part of it for this short time. I will miss you all much more than you know.

Where are you headed next?  What plans are in your horizon, and what are your hopes for your future career endeavors? 

My next chapter in life calls me back to my home state of Minnesota where I will be marrying my amazing fianc√©, Nathan, in just 3 short months. At this point, I don’t have a job lined up but I am hoping to work in a church or ministry near Minneapolis/St. Paul. Wherever my career path takes me, I feel like Rebuilding Together Seattle was the perfect spring board to launch me towards my dreams with new confidence and skills.

Jeni (C) with the RTS Young Professionals Society (YPS)
Congratulations, Jeni!  Thank you for all your contributions to RTS.  We wish you the best of luck on your future endeavors!

RTS sends a big thanks to Mary and Tom Herche for serving as the Sponsor of our first AmeriCorps Member this year.  To learn how you can increase the program capacity of Rebuilding Together Seattle by sponsoring an AmeriCorps member, please email

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