AmeriCorps to Habitat: The Danielle Lavy Story


Why did you choose AmeriCorps and was the Non-profit industry always something you wanted to be a part of?

I chose AmeriCorps because I always wanted to help people. My parents always volunteered and I did lots of volunteer work as a child. I also was the philanthropy chair for my sorority. My sorority sister completed AmeriCorps in Connecticut and encouraged me to apply.

Where are you from originally and why Seattle?

I am originally from a small town called Yuba City, California. I chose Seattle because of the weather, because I love to hike and ski/snowboard, I really enjoy the pacific northwest vibe, and because I really really wanted to work for the ReStores.

Why Habitat for Humanity? Were there other organizations you considered going to?

I applied for Habitat specifically because I knew the organization and because I built houses during high school with my youth group in Mexico. I applied to many organizations before picking Habitat, actually. Most of them were housing related, family related, or otherwise people-oriented (something like College Access Now) as my degree was in Psychology. I thought it made the most sense. J

How has the AmeriCorps experience helped you when you transitioned over to Habitat staff?

AmeriCorps prepared me for the workforce in many ways. I wasn’t ready for a full-time job when I started AmeriCorps in 2015. I think I had a basic idea of what I needed to do, but working in an office setting for 2 years really prepared me for the soft skills required to work full time. There are so many things that you don’t learn while in college that you gain from working in an office. I also NEVER would have said yes to supervising AmeriCorps members; I was terrified to lead volunteers when I first started as a VISTA. Now, I love it. Supervising AmeriCorps members is one of my favorite parts of my job.

What is one piece of advice you would give to those considering the AmeriCorps program?

I wouldn’t say that everyone is cut out to make the commitment to AmeriCorps. Think long and hard about your financials, what kind of position it will put you in after your term, and really think about the pros and cons. Plan for the unexpected. But really, if you’ve thought it through, TAKE THE CHANCE. You never know what will happen.