Meet Connie Jenkins-Buwa — AmeriCorps VISTA Member with Community Blueprint Network at American Red Cross National Headquarters September 11, 2012Posted by servicecorpsnews in Member Spotlight.
Connie Jenkins-Buwa is an AmeriCorps VISTA Member assigned to the Community Blueprint Network at the American Red Cross National Headquarters through the American Legion Auxiliary Call to Service Corps. In her assignment as a Community Blueprint coordinator, Jenkins-Buwa develops the topical content, support tools, project infrastructure and community decision-making structures and processes to execute the Blueprint. Prior to joining the Call to Service Corps, Jenkins-Buwa was a longtime advocate for children in public education and worked with Plainfield Public Schools, Plainfield, NJ. Connie and her family answered a call to action after 9/11, to work with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey and provide food for affected families. In 1995, she logged in hours with Habitat for Humanity building homes. Connie holds a Master degree in international relations from Seton Hall University.
The desire to give back to my community became intrinsic because our mother was so giving; our home was always filled with people who may have needed shelter, food or clothing. So, what began as helping a neighbor grew into community involvement like collecting for Toys for Tots at Christmas for families without means, or going down to the local food bank to help fix meals for families affected by 9/11. Then, when the call came for all Americans to support veterans, service members and their families, many of whom were returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, I looked for an opportunity to serve.
What motivated you to choose your sponsor organization?
My motivation was to volunteer in support of veterans, servicemembers and their families. I am grateful to the American Legion Auxiliary Call To Service Corps for placing me with the American Red Cross to develop and implement topical content for the Community Blueprint Network (CBN).
About what accomplishment from your year of service are you most proud?
I am most proud of my ability to adapt to new surroundings and circumstances at the blink of an eye, heightened problem-solving skills evident in my ability to locate housing in a single bound, and the acquired KSA (knowledge, skill, ability) to complete complex projects in record-breaking time. All kidding aside, it has been such a rewarding experience and I am proud of my contribution to the Community Blueprint Network.
What are your future plans after your AmeriCorps service year?
I plan to remain in the Washington, D.C. area.