Meet four AmeriCorps members who have made Habitat LA their “work home”
Audrey DeVoe is one of several AmeriCorps members who found her calling at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA). The AmeriCorps program gives individuals like Audrey an opportunity to serve with Habitat LA to help meet the housing needs of communities and low-income families in the greater Los Angeles area.
Today, more than 500 AmeriCorps members serve with Habitat for Humanity affiliates in 42 states and the District of Columbia, encompassing more than 160 communities. During their service terms, members can:
- Increase their knowledge of service and engagement
- Develop project management abilities through hands-on service
- Grow and strengthen leadership skills, making them more competitive in their academic and career paths
- Strengthen and drive change in communities and families through service
- Maximize construction and home building experience
- Raise awareness of the social issues that communities face
Almost 70% of Habitat AmeriCorps members continue to stay involved with Habitat in some way after their term of service ends. Each year, about a quarter of those finishing their terms take staff positions with Habitat for Humanity International or with our team. We asked current Habitat LA staff members how the AmeriCorps experience helped shape their career.
Bethy Cobabe, former AmeriCorps construction crew leader and currently Habitat LA’s Director of Construction, has worked with Habitat LA for over 16 years. “The biggest impact the AmeriCorps program had on my career was that it gave me a path into the construction industry as a women leader, while also fulfilling my passion to serve communities in need.”
Admitting that she “didn’t even know how to swing a hammer” when she began the program, Bethy encourages anyone considering the AmeriCorps program to “Go for it!” Whether it’s one year of service or part of a career path, she believes “It can be one of the most life-changing experiences of your life.”
Habitat LA Home Preservation Coordinator, Nicholas Klein agrees. “Be open to new opportunities and new experiences! It is a great opportunity to either gain more skills in a field you want to make a career out of or to gain totally new skills.” Looking back on his AmeriCorps service as a construction crew leader, he recalls being on the construction site. “Seeing the building process opened my eyes to the construction process and the variety of trades that go into it.”
Mayra Murillo served with AmeriCorps for almost two years as a Community Outreach Coordinator for Habitat LA’s Neighborhood Revitalization team. “The biggest impact the AmeriCorps program had on my career was that it allowed me to apply my education and vocational goals to programs that benefit communities. It also provided me with funds to continue my education.” Mayra put her education and experience to good use! She’s been Habitat LA’s Neighborhood Revitalization Manager since 2021.
As for Audrey, she served her AmeriCorps term as a project development VISTA member, working with the Programs department to increase engagement with Habitat LA’s youth programs, veterans, and neighborhood revitalization in the Washington neighborhood of Long Beach. Currently a Program Manager with the Home Preservation team, Audrey also believes that her AmeriCorps experience helped to guide her career path. “The biggest impact the AmeriCorps program had on my career was solidifying my passion to work directly with communities that have been underserved and provide them the assistance needed to make a positive impact on their lives.”
AmeriCorps members receive a living allowance, an education award upon completion of the service year, select health benefits, and even childcare benefits. Habitat LA also provides members with a rental stipend during their term year as housing assistance.
Ready to get started as an AmeriCorps member?
Check out available AmeriCorps positions with Habitat for Humanity (scroll down or search for Los Angeles opportunities).
If you’d like to learn more about Habitat LA’s AmeriCorps program, please email Anna, our Host Site Manager.