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Member Profile: Meet Jason Kennedy, AmeriCorps National Member with USA Cares July 27, 2012

Posted by servicecorpsnews in Member Spotlight.
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Jason Kennedy is an AmeriCorps National member assigned to USA Cares through the American Legion Auxiliary Call to Service Corps. Kennedy assists veterans with accessing employment and financial assistance resources and services. Prior to joining the Call to Service Corps, Jason held positions in the Kentucky National Guard and the United States Physical and Fiscal Office Central Issue Facility. Kennedy holds an associate’s degree in criminal justice. He is working toward a Bachelor of Social Work. Jason is a veteran of the Kentucky Army National Guard. He is a member of American Legion Post 114 in Elizabethtown, Ky.

What motivated you to serve as an AmeriCorps member?
I have been in the military for over eight years now. I have served in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as after several natural disasters within the United States, which include Hurricane Katrina. I had heard about AmeriCorps through a friend of mine, my brother and sister-in-law. I am currently completing my last year with the military and I have been looking to my future. I am a student at Western Kentucky University in the social work program. My goal is to get my degree and then use that degree to work with servicemembers. I feel that there would be no one better to work with a servicemember in a social work setting than a soldier who has been there, where they have been before. I saw an opening with USA Cares and I couldn’t think of a better experience for what I want to do with my future than to work with AmeriCorps and USA Cares.

What motivated you to choose your sponsor organization?
USA Cares is a nonprofit veterans organization designed to help post-9/11 veterans. It is a nationwide organization with a lot of credit to its name. I was immediately thrilled at the thought of being able to assist other veterans all over the United States. I would be able to give back to my brothers-and-sisters-in-arms. It is also a great name to be able to put on a resume once I do get my degree. The experience has been amazing and I have learned so much in my time with this great organization.

About what accomplishment from your year of service are you most proud?
There are too many accomplishments to pick one. I have had the chance to work with some amazing people. The work that is done here literally changes people’s lives. The greatest feeling that I have had since being here was when I was able to assist my first veteran. I didn’t think much about making a simple car payment for an Afghanistan veteran. It didn’t hit me what an impact that I had had on this servicemember’s life until I received an email from the servicemember a few days later thanking me for what I had done for him and his family.

What are your future plans after your AmeriCorps service year?
After AmeriCorps, I plan to take the skills and knowledge that I have received and apply it toward pursuing and finishing my goal of obtaining a Master of Social Work and working with veterans.

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