More public service volunteers needed in Marianas

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AMERICORPS, a volunteer public service organization, needs 50 student volunteers this school year to further boost its public service work.

Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Island-Americorps member Vicky Nicholas said 15 students have already submitted their online application. She said 13 of them are from Kagman High School.

“They applied since April and they are excellent students.”

She said Americorps has yet to receive applications from Marianas High School and Saipan Southern High School.

“We are focusing on these schools because no application has been submitted to us.”

Americorps is an organization that encourages young adult to engage in public service work.

Nicholas said a candidate must be 17 years old and must be enrolled in local high school. He or she must be a US citizen, with at least a 2.5 GPA.

“You don’t need to be a genius. All we require is to have a willingness to help others,” Nicholas said in an earlier interview.

According to Nicholas, Americorps program in CNMI is mostly helping kinder to 8th grade in their reading skills.

Nicholas said Americorps programs include peer-to-peer tutoring where high school students help other children who are not performing well in reading.

“Reading is a crucial part of life. From kindergarten to 3rd grade, you learn how to read. Third grade is a transition point where you need to read in order to learn. When a student’s reading is not at their grade level, they are at a higher risk to drop out,” Nicholas said.

Interested applicants may go to Americorps website to file their application online or go to their school counselors, who will help coordinate the students to the organization.

Along with the application, Nicholas said, they require the applicants to submit two references – one of them must be from a teacher.

Applicants will have to undergo two interviews – a preliminary and interviews with the supervisors. Documents, including copies of passport, security card and others are required to submit to the Americorps.

When applicants were selected, they will then undergo pre-service orientation – where they can learn the overview of Americorps.

“We provide trainings for them before putting them in community service,” Nicholas said.

She said Americorps is expecting its members to be committed in what they do as they require a number of hours of service.

“At the end of their service, they will receive an education award. The more hour of service that they do, the higher the education award they will get.”

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