Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Life of an AmeriCorps Member

 
Hello my name is William Custus. I am 22 years old. I was born and raised in Baltimore MD until I was 12 years old before moving to Washington, DC. I grew up in the foster care system from infancy to the age of 18. Unfortunately, I had parents who were hooked on drugs and unable to care for me properly so I was adopted by my cousin. She loved and cared for me like I was her own. As I was growing up, I always wondered if I would be able to care for people and help them in a way I wasn’t helped or cared for. As I grew up, I was going down the wrong path by doing things I wasn’t supposed to do. I never had a mother and father around so I had to learn how to become a man on my own. I dropped out of school at the age of 14 and started to run away from home because I thought it was cool. I was always surrounded by negative people so I never really had a positive role model to keep me on the right track. After being brutally hurt and almost losing my life, I realized that being negative was not the way to be. Later, I joined the Woodstock Job Corps Center where I received my high school diploma and multiple certifications in Business Management. Throughout my time there, I was still indecisive about how I would help strengthen our communities and build more leaders in this world. I overheard my instructor talking about a program called “AmeriCorps NCCC”. I looked into the program and decided I should give it a try. Once I applied for and was accepted to AmeriCorps NCCC, I had a lot of goals to accomplish. One of my main goals was to be as professional as possible and obtain lots of skills to become successful in life. Two months into the program, I discovered that I had achieved my main goal and that made me so happy for the first time ever in my life. Working on a team with people from diverse backgrounds was a little challenging. I thought that I would not be able to fit in as much as everyone else did. Then I realized that AmeriCorps NCCC is not a place for a person to be judged. It’s a place for people to learn new things, meet some awesome people, and serve communities, not be served by communities. Now that I have formed a bond with my Amerifam, I realize that I can do anything in this world that I want to do as long as it has a positive outcome. I have accomplished a lot of things and I feel so proud that I have joined a program filled with caring, happy, positive, and dedicated people. Since I have been in the program, I have learned self-control, compassion for others and myself, and also that as long as you keep a positive mind you can get through any storm. AmeriCorps NCCC has been so great to me since the day I arrived. This is only a little bit of my life. I just want others to know that just because you come from a background like mine doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the road. AmeriCorps NCCC can be a new beginning.

William Custus

Class XIX, River 7

William successfully completed his term of service at the Southern Region campus of AmeriCorps NCCC on December 12, 2013.  William also is the recipient of the Class XIX Personal Growth award, presented at the Awards Banquet the night before.

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