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Member Spotlight: Meet Violeta Arciniega, National Military Family Association AmeriCorps Member January 27, 2012

Posted by servicecorpsnews in Member Spotlight.
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Violeta Arciniega is an ALA Call to Service Corps AmeriCorps member assigned to the National Military Family Association. In her assignment, Violeta works with the government relations and volunteer services departments in support of the Association’s members and volunteers through several capacity-building projects. These have included the compilation of resources for use during natural disasters, the consolidation of information about the Association’s Operation Purple Camps and the synthesis of data gathered from various association surveys. Prior to joining the Call to Service Corps, Violeta held positions as a teaching assistant at the University of Maryland, a bookseller at Barnes & Noble and a volunteer docent and gift shop assistant at Tudor Place Historic House. She also served as the president of the University of Maryland’s satirical newspaper. Violeta holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Maryland.

What motivated you to serve as an AmeriCorps member?
Since graduating high school, my plan had always been to take a year off after college to do some kind of service work before applying to law school. I felt I would need the real-world experience before committing to another three years of higher education, which became especially true after some of the difficulties I faced during my undergraduate years. I also felt it would give me more perspective on the field of public service, which was my ultimate career goal.

What motivated you to choose your sponsor organization?
My main motivating factor in choosing to apply to the National Military Family Association was admittedly the location; I didn’t have a lot of experience with the military or military families, but I’ve lived in the Washington D.C. area since childhood.

I applied for several other local opportunities, but the Association was one of the first organizations to get back to me, and I felt that we had a good rapport from the initial phone interview. Later on, I was able to come on site to do an in-person interview, and found the Association’s employees very welcoming, and the mission they worked for a very important one. When the Association offered me the position, I had no doubt that I wanted the assignment and accepted it immediately.

About what accomplishment from your year of service are you most proud?
I am very proud of many of the accomplishments I’ve achieved during my year of service, from digitizing Military Family Life Consultant reports for our Operation Purple Camps, to writing several stories about our program work for Association publications, to analyzing and interpreting survey data, to doing some of the earliest work on the Online Application the Association is putting together. What I am most proud of, however, is how much I’ve been able to learn during my time here. The awareness I have gained about the lives, difficulties, and triumphs of military families is also what I’m most grateful for after my year here.

What are your future plans after your AmeriCorps service year?
My hope is to start law school in the fall. Ultimately, I want to focus on public interest law, and work for either the federal government or a nonprofit organization.

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