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AmeriCorps Volunteer Shares Her Experience

April is National Volunteer Month, dedicated to honoring all the volunteers in our communities and encouraging people to volunteer throughout the month. S:US recognizes the importance of volunteering and honors the significant contributions that volunteers make by generously sharing their time and talents. Volunteers are needed throughout S:US’ programs to help meet the diverse needs of the thousands of New Yorkers we support every year.

For Volunteer Appreciation Month, we spoke with Shania Guzman, Volunteer Services AmeriCorps Member at S:US. Shania started at S:US in September of 2023 and her term ends in June 2024.

Shania Guzman, S:US’ AmeriCorps volunteer.

AmeriCorps is the federal agency for national service and volunteerism. AmeriCorps provides opportunities for Americans of all backgrounds to serve their country, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, and improve lives and communities. Every year, AmeriCorps enrolls more than 200,000 individuals to serve organizations making a difference in communities across America.

Shania decided to volunteer with S:US because it was always a passion of hers to work with people in her community. “S:US was a great fit for me to volunteer my time because I support S:US’ mission statement of transforming people’s lives and righting societal imbalances that people face every day,” said Shania.

S:US plays a critical role in the health and well-being of more than 37,000 of New York City’s most vulnerable individuals and families each year, helping them overcome complex and challenging life circumstances. At S:US, we understand that for there to be long-term social change, we must invest in people and communities. We work to eliminate the root causes of inequity and poverty, while addressing people’s unique needs—needs that are compounded by the challenges people face due to a lack of opportunity. We give people hope, providing a path to a bright future for themselves, their families, and communities, a future that is not defined by challenges, but by opportunity for all.

“What I hope to get out of volunteering with S:US is that I’ll be comfortable working with a nonprofit, so when I decide to work in the sector (after my AmeriCorps assignment ends), I will know more and understand the complexities, challenges, and rewards that come with doing mission-driven work,” said Shania. “The most rewarding feeling is seeing the people that S:US serves come together and celebrate one another. One of my most memorable moments with S:US was the Developmental Disabilities Championships 2023 event. It was significant because not only was it my first event that I helped my supervisor lead, but seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces was a touching experience.”

The annual S:US Championships & Family Fun Day is a jubilant event that brings together more than 400 athletes with intellectual/developmental disabilities who are supported by S:US. It is a day of friendly competition, fun, and a chance to enjoy the outdoors with their families and friends.

“Working with S:US has helped me realize that while people have their own struggles, not all of them have access to the resources they need. Regardless of their circumstance, everyone should be treated with respect and fairness,” said Shania.

We appreciate Shania and all our volunteers!

For more information on how you can volunteer at S:US, please visit our Volunteer page or contact [email protected].

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