Opening Day Recap

Published on
Thursday, November 9, 2023

Happy Thursday! I’m Julia, MSA’s Communications and Marketing Associate; I write our newsletters and manage most day-to-day external communications efforts here at MSA.

As you may know, last Friday was Opening Day, our huge AmeriCorps service year kickoff event. Over 600 members, program staff, speakers, and partners packed into the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury for the morning program and swearing-in ceremony, lunch and partner tabling, and various afternoon service projects, tours, and member development sessions.

This was a special Opening Day, as it’s also AmeriCorps’ 30th year. Let’s walk through the day!

The Morning Program

Framingham State AmeriCorps doing their program cheer!

MSA staff arrived early at the Reggie Lewis Center (fueled by munchkins and coffee from a local donut place in Merrimack Valley!) to set up tables, signs, merch, and IT. A couple hours after setup started, members, program staff, and partner organizations started to arrive.

Before the ceremony and during lunch, members had the opportunity to check out tables from organizations like the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps Alums, as well as educational institutions that double the Segal Education award.

The main program was diverse: a recorded video by Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, custom program cheers, speeches from alumni representing four AmeriCorps programs, a keynote by Heather Jenkins, the CEO of The Literacy Lab, and a swearing-in ceremony led by State Representative William J. Driscoll, Jr., who’s also a FEMA Corps Alum.

The Afternoon

AmeriCorps programs had the option of placing members in various diverse afternoon opportunities, including service projects at nonprofits like Community Servings and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, tours at places like the State House and the Museum of African American History, and member development sessions led by some of our awesome AmeriCorps programs.

I led trash pickup at the Esplanade with a group of about 40 AmeriCorps members, and it was a blast! Shoutout to the TerraCorps members I spent a few hours picking up debris with (and discovering some interesting trash, including an entire suitcase on the bank of the Charles!).

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to Opening Day for making it such a wonderful experience!

Welcome Ian!

Photo of Ian.

We were so lucky that our new Program Officer for Volunteer Initiatives, Ian Whalen-Stone, enthusiastically jumped in for Opening Day during their first week at MSA!

Ian is a nonprofit professional who previously worked in clinical trial operations, expanding access to healthcare, and supporting the caregivers of LGBTQIA+ individuals through mutual aid. They received their B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where they also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA as a Student Leader in Service.

Fun fact: As a teenager, Ian was once featured in a hair metal music video for the band Extreme!

On That Note… MSA is Hiring!

After four years at MSA, our wonderful Associate Commonwealth Corps Program Manager, Marlene Rojas, is moving to the West Coast! We’re hiring to fill her position and round out our Commonwealth Corps team. View the job description and application instructions at the top of our website page here.

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