In this series of blog posts, MCAN staff and AmeriCorps members/alumni will reflect on the risks they've taken by choosing service and how it has paid off in their careers. Jayme Green is a program supervisor for College Completion Corps and previously served as an AmeriCorps member in the program's inaugural year.

What role were you in before pivoting to a new position?

I worked as a personal trainer and wellness coach in one organization for 13 years.

What moved you to change positions?

A deep need. Though I thrived at teaching exercise and healthy behavior changes, I needed a deeper connection. I knew I was capable of making a bigger impact in supporting individuals and helping them reach their highest self. I wanted to explore outside the walls of a gym. I had just finished my master’s degree at Northwood University in May 2020, and I had a renewed appreciation for higher education and the positive influence it had on me. I wanted a test run to really give me a sense of working in higher education. In October of 2020, I came across a post looking for someone to serve as a College Completion Corps coach at the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College. Here was my opportunity! I hoped that this position would give me the experience and networking to propel me into a new career and adventure.

Was this decision worth the risk?

To accept this new role and serve as an AmeriCorps member, I needed to leave a comfortable full time job, find insurance for my family (thankfully mine was covered by AmeriCorps), and move to an environment that I wasn’t an expert in — all in the middle of a pandemic.

A quote from Abraham Maslow that resonated with me throughout this adventure was:

“One can choose to go backwards towards safety or forwards towards growth.”

I chose to go forwards towards growth. The uncertainty of this decision was definitely worth the risk. I gained higher education experience, amazing leadership mentors that I continually learned from, networking opportunities, strong new friendships, and confidence in my abilities. When I finished my year of service as a College Completion Coach, I was offered an incredible position to work as a program supervisor for College Completion Corps. My vision of serving in a leadership role and adding value and greater impact to people’s lives has come true!