LEAP Member Great Stories of Service

Throughout service, LEAP members report quarterly on their community impact and record "great stories". Below are a few recent great stories shared by LEAP members during the 2018-2019 service year.

What could your great story of service be?

Dan Cliche, NVU-Lyndon Upward Bound

    One experience that stands out from my AmeriCorps service occurred during an activity designed to simulate life after college in which students picked a career path and used that career’s salary to determine their ability to handle the expenses of living on their own. This activity caused some stress for a number of students, particularly those who saw others with a much greater amount of money left over due to their career choice. I spoke with these students in depth, and shared with them my own personal experience with this particular issue. 

    For most of my high school and college career, engineering was pushed to me as the field I would enter, mainly due to its high salaries and its prestigious perception. As a first-generation college-bound student, these qualities were highly sought after by my family, and my proficiency in math and science courses made this field an easy choice to make. Recently, however, I have discovered a passion in teaching, and a strong indifference to engineering work. This has led to tension with my family, who believe I am “selling myself short” by opting for a more “humble” occupation with a significantly lower salary.

    I shared with these students that my first priority is to find a career that I love and would actually enjoy doing, and though the financial burden will be greater, I will make things work. This message resonated with the students, and one in particular told me that she now fully intends on pursuing her dream career, and not the one that her parents have been encouraging her to follow. The reception of the students to my story has encouraged me further that I am making the right choice in my life, and I can now proudly say that I have helped others to do the same.

Casey Clifford, St. Johnsbury Athenaeum


In reading to preschool aged kids it has been exciting to hear them ask for books and series by certain authors and to see their happiness that they will be read to. During vacation weeks several of the in home daycares take on extra kids/brothers/sisters. It has been a pleasure reading to all the different ages that participate in this program. On the same token I felt heartbroken when an older kid announced that he never gets read to, and was outwardly joyful that he was about to be read to. While reading to younger children certainly has an impact, we can't forget the importance of continually reading out loud to children of every age!

Alida Farrell, Green Mountain Farm to School


I was at Brownington's school garden, finishing up on some mulching after our All-School Planting. When the kids came out for recess, they saw me in the garden and all came running over, peppering me with questions about what mulch does for our garden, how long it will take the beans to grow, and what kind of food comes from the seedlings they saw. And of course, they all wanted to help me. I was so touched by their curiosity about the garden, and their eagerness to spend precious recess time helping me lay down mulch.

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LEAP is a State AmeriCorps Program with SerVermont. LEAP members impact educational outcomes for youth and families in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, and gain professional and personal skills through their service to others.


Lyndon Economic opportunity AmeriCorps Program (LEAP)

1001 College Road

Lyndonville, VT 05851