Will Ouellette to join the AmeriCorp

Following their senior year, the newly graduated are faced with a somewhat daunting plethora of freedoms and paths to explore. Though many choose to pursue education or enter the workforce, others choose to take a more unique route. After graduation, senior Will Ouellette will serve one year in the AmeriCorp, a volunteer program dedicated to strengthening communities in America through service work.

Ouellette was first introduced to AmeriCorp his junior year, after his childhood friend, Quinn Early, shared his personal experience with the program. He then began familiarizing himself with the program by attending informational webinars, which continued to strengthen his desire to join.

“The more I learned about the program, the more I was like ‘I just have to do this’” Ouellette said. “It just sounded perfect for me.”

Though the amount of applicants for the program was far higher than years prior, Ouellette managed to secure his spot in the AmeriCorp this past January. The AmeriCorp operates by distributing its volunteers to one of four separate regions, which is a different area than what they are familiar with. Ouellette has been assigned to the Southern region, and will spend his first three weeks at the region’s campus in Vicksburg, Mississippi. There, he will learn basic training and what to expect for his first assignment.

Following training, Ouellette will be sent out to a station within his region, where he will begin his volunteer work. The type of service he will partake in varies depending on the needs of the community he is assigned to. Standard work for AmeriCorp includes building houses, serving meals at shelters, participating in environmental stewardship, assisting in disaster response protocols, or helping with whatever else is needed. After two months on an assignment, volunteers then return to their home base for a week or so, where they prepare for their next task. By the end of his time in the program, Ouellette will have worked on four separate assignments, each in a different location in the South.

“I’m really looking forward to all the new experiences,” Ouellette said. “I’ve never been to the South at all, so I’m excited for the cultural experience and to get to learn about a new part of America.”

After his time in the AmeriCorp, Ouellette will resume his studies at UC Davis. Though his major is undecided, he sees himself working in the education field, specifically with high school students. His dream would be to spread his passion for the game of soccer by becoming the varsity soccer coach of the school he works at. During his time at CHS, Ouellette surrounded himself with his favorite sport by playing three years of varsity soccer, and volunteering as an AYSO referee. He was also the ASB sophomore and junior class president, was a Link Crew leader, and played a season of volleyball. Outside of school he served as a member on Claremont Teen Committee, worked for the City and Claremont, actively volunteered at Pomona Valley Hospital, and is currently employed at the I Like Pie Bakeshop.

Ouellette leaves for Mississippi in July, and while he is somewhat disappointed to have his summer cut short, any sadness he feels is far outweighed by his anticipation to begin what is certain to be a remarkable and meaningful experience. While his warm presence on campus will be missed, those who know Ouellette are looking forward to seeing him continue to fulfill his passion of helping others.