By Caitlin Schenck, Americorps Member
My name is Caitlin Schenck and I am a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay where I completed two bachelor’s degrees in three years’ time. I received a B.S. in Environmental Policy and Planning, a B.A. in Political Science and my minor was Public Administration. As the mother of a toddler, I was unable to become as involved as I would have liked to be during years at UWGB, I was able to gain some amazing work and volunteer experiences when my schedule allowed me to do so. The last nine months of my college career I interned with the blood services department of the American Red Cross. When the opportunity presented itself to me, I was really excited because the Red Cross is an organization I have held near and dear to my heart for years.
Originally, I come from a small town near Wisconsin Dells, Reedsburg. I graduated high school in 2006 and moved to Madison almost immediately after. In 2008, what has been referred to as the 2008 Midwest Flood happened where several states including my hometown had a flood that almost bankrupted the town’s economy. Many of my close friends lost their homes and were forced to rebuild. The Red Cross was the first organization in town after the first responders. All of the roads were closed for a few weeks and so much traffic was rerouted I couldn’t make it back right away to help, and to this day, I am so thankful those volunteers in the community were there to help all of my loved ones when I couldn’t. So when I was given the opportunity to become a part of the Red Cross team here in Green Bay, and given opportunities to volunteer as well, I jumped on board and I can happily say they’ve gained a lifer out of me.
In my time as an intern, I enjoyed the work I was doing, helping out at blood drives, but the chapter end of the Red Cross and disaster services was something I was much more interested in. Then, I got a tip from a friend that there was a part time AmeriCorps position open in Green Bay working in Disaster Preparedness. I applied, interviewed, and have become a member with AmeriCorps. Once again, I have the opportunity to work with the Red Cross in Disaster Preparedness and I could not be more excited for this amazing experience! Now, I will be reaching out to community members and performing preparedness presentations, recruiting new volunteers, and assisting in the Red Cross’ Pillowcase Project which is geared toward 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. I just cannot express how excited I am to watch this next year unfold and to be able to be a part of the Red Cross family once again, gain new experiences, spread the word of the importance of preparedness and hopefully make an impact in the process.