Accomplishment Spotlight: Call to Service Corps Members Use Technology to Support Military Spouses March 28, 2013Posted by servicecorpsnews in Accomplishment Spotlight.
According to a poll conducted last year by Nielsen, more than 50 percent of Americans now use smartphones. That number shoots upwards to more than 66 percent for those between the ages of 25 and 34. Though data specific to the veteran and military community is unavailable, it seems clear that smartphone adoption has become increasingly prevalent among nearly all American demographic groups in recent years. Despite this, few nonprofit and veteran service organizations have moved to take advantage of this growth in any meaningful way, and the unification of new technology with targeted, supportive resources has largely been ignored.
MyMilitaryLife, a smartphone app launched late last year by the National Military Family Association, marks a significant and innovative step in that direction. The app, which unites an extensive array of resources with a highly intuitive interface, seeks to help military spouses navigate the many challenges they face on a daily basis.
Users simply download the app, complete a brief questionnaire, and receive information on important topics ranging from going back to school to managing with a deployed family member to transitioning out of the military. Content is divided into eleven discrete areas, called “life paths,” which allows the app to tailor content and direct users to the type of information most relevant to their particular needs.
Michelle Winning and Simmone Quesnell, two AmeriCorps National members assigned to the organization through the ALA Call to Service Corps, were integral in the development of MyMilitaryLife. National Military Family Association staff cite their contributions for moving the app development and launch much more quickly than the organization had expected.
Winning, a military spouse herself, was deeply involved in the development of the separate lifepaths. “The app is supposed to take the adventures of military life and give not just resources, but everything else needed to succeed as well,” she says. “It’s very exciting, and it’s created a lot of opportunities for collaboration [with other organizations].”
Quesnell has also worked closely with the National Military Family Association’s communications department to ensure MyMilitaryLife is understandable and easy-to-use. In addition, she researched and gathered an extensive array of resources for the app relating to topics such as military spouse scholarships in order to shape the life paths and increase overall app effectiveness.
Winning and Quesnell recently completed their service terms. Quesnell has been invited to join the association as a full-time employee. Winning plans to continue to volunteer for the organization.
MyMilitaryLife is available through Apple’s App Store and Google Play.