Jeremy Maple is working full time at the Perry Multi-County Juvenile Facility, and he credits his AmeriCorps service with helping him land the job.

“I had gone out there five or six times during service to teach kids about nature,” the Nelsonville resident says. “When they had a job opening, they already knew me and gave me a call. I’ve been there full time since February 2019.”

Jeremy served 3 terms with AmeriCorps, the first with Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area, where he worked on the Winding Road Marketplace, an experience that helped him “learn the business side of things.” He spent his second and third terms serving with the National Forest Service, where he helped with education programs. It was during his third term that he made the connections leading to the job at the juvenile facility.

“National service gave me boots on the ground experience without having to spend even more money on education,” says Jeremy, who grew up south of Canton, not far from the Tuscarawas River Watershed, and moved to Athens County to attend Hocking College after graduating high school.

“I had a great time in college,” Jeremy says. “I regret nothing about my education. But through National Service I realized I wanted to do more relating to social work, which is something I never considered while growing up.”

His advice to someone considering AmeriCorps?

“Unquestionably, I’d say do it,” he says. “I gained so many experiences and friends I still talk with regularly. I still talk to Shannon (Stewart, Rural Action’s AmeriCorps Director). In fact, we were just texting last night.”

“It’s all about the opportunities you take,” Jeremy says. “When someone asked for help, I was there. I was a Justice Talking facilitator. I did anything I could do to gain more knowledge, even if I didn’t think it would be relevant in my career. You don’t know what’s going to be relevant and what’s not.”

Jeremy’s commitment to his community remains strong after 3 terms in AmeriCorps. He volunteered to help with a Rural Action summer camp recently, and several of the campers remembered him from his service at the Wayne National Forest.

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