As I look back on my transformative AmeriCorps service year at Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake (IPC), I am filled with gratitude and awe at the incredible journey I have experienced.Shernita Phillips with Chuck Gallegos

A year ago I was just beginning at IPC as a Volunteer Program Coordinator; in which I'm amazed about how fast the time has passed. Coming in I did not know how my first year would turn out as an AmeriCorps member. That said, my journey with IPC, their Green Team Mentors, and AmeriCorps has been such a great memorable experience including the individuals I have met

Furthermore, I enjoyed the working aspect of improving the Green Team Mentorship program by staying on top of my daily tasks and new projects to ensure that the mentorship program continues to run smoothly even after my departure. ForService with AmeriCorps instance, some of the things I have done with IPC are coordinating green team mentor trainings, turning those trainings into virtual videos and quizzes, creating eye-catching fliers and mentorship guides, strengthening the skills matrix that is used on IPC’s website, and so much more! My final goal of the year is to recruit a Volunteer Mentor Coordinator that will help the mentor program stay fully functional for many years to come. 

In addition to my day-to-day work at IPC, another exciting opportunity of the AmeriCorps program is the chance to support other members of my AmeriCorps cohort to carry out environmental actions and projects at their service sites. Some of those activities included tree plantings, learning about different trees and plants, invasive species removal, organic farming and more. All of these opportunities helped me to connect with the work that green teams are doing to care for Creation at their congregations.

Working directly with IPC's true mission to support our shared watershed alongside many other similar organizations within the same network has increased my interest in the environmental professional field. It was through the connections that I made with IPC's partners that has allowed me to continue my professional career working with the Friends of the Rappahannock as an Outreach and Communication Assistant. Their work intersects with IPC's as they look to be the voice and active force for a healthy and scenic Rappahannock River in Virginia.Shernita Phillips with Captain Lenny Rudow of FishTalk Magazine

I enjoyed the work and culture at IPC, which encouraged me to continue my work alongside their team, supporting them and attending events whenever I can. Maybe one day I would even come back to further my support. One of the fondest memories I have from my service year is catching my first fish EVER on a staff team-building trip in October 2022, led by FishTalk Magazine. This experience further enforced my love for the waters of nature and gave me a chance to have a calming and bonding experience with the IPC team. To my surprise, the photo of my first catch won "fish picture of the month" for FishTalk Magazine -- a great way to commemorate this unforgettable opportunity!

Through fulfillment and all of these worthwhile experiences, I know that every effort (no matter how big or small) helps to make a change in the watershed! This year I’m proud of the experience that I have gained and the fact that I have helped install more land conservation projects than I ever have before!

“Let's continue to make our lovely home a better place!”

Shernita Phillips


AmeriCorps Member