AmeriCorps Works!

Categories: In the News

In 2009, Nila Miller found a posting for a position with CitySquare AmeriCorps. The position would offer a living allowance and funding for her education in exchange for a year of service. Working on her Associate’s Degree and desperately needing a job, the opportunity was a perfect fit. Nila applied and was accepted.

She worked with KidsU, a program supported by CitySquare AmeriCorps volunteers, who provide high quality afterschool tutoring programs and summer enrichment for at-risk youth living in low income or affordable apartment communities. Nila found the position so rewarding that she re-applied to it a second year. And a third year. And a fourth year.

The year-long terms complemented her education in ways she hadn’t expected when she first applied. It also encouraged her to keep going, finishing her associate’s and bachelor’s degree in elementary education, only to go on and earn a master’s degree before starting her doctorate in education.

“The CitySquare AmeriCorps experience molded me to be the best person I could be,” says Nila. “Without that, I couldn’t have achieved what I have with my education.”

Because she was exposed to a part of Dallas that is typically ignored, Miller found her passion as an educator early in her career. Today, in addition to earning her doctorate, she fulfills that passion through her position teaching fifth grade language arts in Dallas. “I want to teach students to believe in themselves and to believe in the power of education, just like AmeriCorps did for me.”