TAY AmeriCorps Week- “Why I Serve”
by iFoster | March 17, 2023

Hear from our TAY AmeriCorps Peer Navigators, and why they serve the foster care community through iFoster.

Britany Yates: iFoster – Transition Age Youth (TAY) AmeriCorps Peer Navigator

My name is Britany Yates. As someone who experienced foster care, I felt a strong desire to support children facing similar struggles. Joining AmeriCorps has allowed me to empower other youth with the necessary resources they need to succeed.

Through AmeriCorps, not only did I guide and inform foster youth about available services, but it also allowed me to return to college—a dream I once thought was out of reach while balancing work and parenting. AmeriCorps provided invaluable experience, a college stipend, childcare assistance, and supportive supervisors who genuinely cared about my well-being.

This transformative opportunity reignited my passion for learning, and I am committed to ensuring all eligible youth are aware of the incredible opportunities AmeriCorps offers. I am grateful to be part of AmeriCorps and make a lasting impact on the lives of foster youth.

Preston Meeks: iFoster – Transition Age Youth (TAY) AmeriCorps Peer Navigator

Hello, my name is Preston Meeks, and I am a proud AmeriCorps member. After receiving an email from my social worker about the opportunity, I joined AmeriCorps to find a job where I could make a difference, learn new skills, and connect with others with similar backgrounds. Working with Angels Nest as my host site, I have gained invaluable experience in accounting and learned how organizations operate from the inside. It's been incredibly fulfilling to help current and former foster youth, just like individuals who helped me in the past. AmeriCorps has profoundly impacted my life, allowing me to meet amazing people and gain skills that will benefit me in my future career. I am setting my sights high and aspire to continue working with AmeriCorps until I graduate from university, ensuring my work is impactful and fulfilling. No more stocking shelves for me!

Guillermo Meixueiro: iFoster – Transition Age Youth (TAY) AmeriCorps Peer Navigator

Hi, I'm Guillermo Meixueiro, an enthusiastic member of AmeriCorps. I joined this organization with a strong desire to support individuals who have faced circumstances similar to my own, helping them thrive and reach their full potential. Additionally, I saw AmeriCorps as an opportunity to enhance my vocational and social skills while gaining a deeper understanding of the system I am a part of.

Through AmeriCorps, I have received invaluable training and experience, enabling me to level up personally while making assisting others easier. TAY AmeriCorps has taught me the importance of continuous self-improvement, as it allows us to open doors for those who may not have had the tools to succeed. I believe that achieving this impact is a testament to strength.

Jubaline Herrera: iFoster – Transition Age Youth (TAY) PHA Member

I wanted to serve in AmeriCorps because I love helping others. I have a passion for helping communities and impacting their lives. I envision my AmeriCorps service contributing to your long-term career goals as it will allow me to experience a career in th healthcare. I plan to utilize this experience when I apply to future healthcare jobs. I will have this experience to reflect on.

With this opportunity at AmeriCorps, I can provide and impact my son's life. Something that makes me smile is my son. Watching him grow and learn new things every day makes me smile. Additionally, making other people's day and leaving a smile on them makes me just as happy.

Yamileth Silva: iFoster – Transition Age Youth (TAY) PHA Member

I wanted to serve in AmeriCorps for a life experience and to help out, especially since my passion is working in healthcare.  I envision AmeriCorps contributing to my long-term goals as it definitely allows me to learn more skills to better myself.

Additionally, I am able to grow my career in the future and teach others what I have learned.

Tyri Allen: iFoster – Transition Age Youth (TAY) PHA Member

I wanted to join AmeriCorps to engage with the opportunities they provide. It is also valuable to get experience in the healthcare field while helping members financially.

Americorps has impacted me by helping me when I did not have a job and could not find any immediate positions.

Blessin Miles: iFoster – Transition Age Youth (TAY) PHA Member

My name is Blessin Myles; I am 21 years old. I joined Americorps to serve for several reasons. The main reason was to gain more experience in the Healthcare field. It was something I’ve wanted to pursue since I was a child. I saw the iFoster partnership with Americorps as an opportunity to get my foot in the door in the healthcare field. I understand that few people are fortunate enough to have this same opportunity. When I graduated high school, I went on to college to pursue a nursing career that I could not complete due to my lack of financial support. I then went on to pursue a career in aesthetics. That said, I believe my service with Americorps contributed to my long-term career goals by allowing me to be hands-on in the Healthcare field while gaining knowledge of what it consists of. Additionally, upon completing the program, I plan to take advantage of the scholarships and assistance iFoster offers.

Chazay Roberts: iFoster – Transition Age Youth (TAY) PHA Member

I wanted to join AmeriCorps because I enjoy helping others. I’ve worked for them, and my experience was terrific. You meet so many new people while learning many new skills. I envision my AmeriCorps service contributing to my long-term career goal of obtaining a job in the healthcare field. I recently finished Phlebotomy school in December and passed my NHA exam in January. I know my service with AmeriCorps is an opportunity that will help me get my foot in the door. I love helping people. My heart is very genuine and pure, and I am happy to know I can make a change by being myself. Seeing people at peace or happy with life makes me smile. Americorps has positively impacted me. They have allowed me to start a career in a field that would always be needed, such as healthcare. The future goals I set for myself are to save more, take everything I can and learn from this experience. AmeriCorps is helping me achieve these future goals. 

Madison Satterwhite: iFoster – Transition Age Youth (TAY) AmeriCorps Peer Navigator

Giving back to others has always been a goal of mine, and AmeriCorps has helped me set clear future goals by providing opportunities to connect with professionals in my desired field. I am now motivated and determined to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

Mathew Brooks: iFoster – Transition Age Youth (TAY) PHA Member

I wanted to serve in AmeriCorps to help and serve my community. I envision my time here with AmeriCorps contributing to my long-term career goals of giving back to those in need and impacting the lives of others. AmeriCorps has affected me in positive ways.

AmeriCorps has given me stability and opportunities to further my life and workplace experiences. AmeriCorps has helped me stay consistent regarding obtaining certification within months. 

Trinity Utnage: iFoster – Transition Age Youth (TAY) AmeriCorps Peer Navigator

My name is Trinity, and I am a 2022 iFoster TAY AmeriCorps member. I am a former foster youth, serving other foster youth in my home state of WA and across the country. I help them get the necessary resources to become self-sufficient as they age out of foster care.

Becoming an AmeriCorps member has impacted me by teaching me real-life skills I can carry into my education, work, and personal life. The professional development meetings taught me how to be a skilled professional while working from home, which led to my understanding of the importance of self-care and work-life balance to prevent emotional burnout. 

iFoster empowered me to learn from Coursera, so I have real-world certificates and skills I can carry into future careers. This experience has inspired me to find and create resources for my peers who are still in foster care and those transitioning out of the system. I worked hard as an AmeriCorps member because I saw that thousands of other foster youth shared similar experiences. And this emboldened me to help my peers help themselves to self-sufficiency.

Shellsea Reynoso: iFoster – Marketing and Digital Communications Coordinator

This piece originally appeared on, AmeriCorps CA. Read the original posting [].

Shellsea served at iFoster as a TAY AmeriCorps Ambassador for 2 years in their iFoster TAY AmeriCorps service program that was Honored as Best New AmeriCorps program nationwide in 2019. As a TAY Americorps member, she connected foster youth to needed resources and workshops as well as mentored peers. Shellsea chose to serve as a TAY AmeriCorps member because of her own experience in the foster care system. She saw that iFoster was dedicated to guiding and mentoring our foster youth and wanted to be a part of helping former and current foster youth reach their full potential. As an Americorps Ambassador, she learned essential job skills that included communication, leadership, problem-solving as well as hard skills like marketing, digital design, and excel which ultimately helped her earn a position as a Marketing and Digital Communications Coordinator with iFoster. “It is important to serve because foster youth need people who will support them and who better to support and understand them than their own peers with lived experience. iFoster makes sure that youth are heard, and they work to express the concerns and needs of foster youth to social workers, caregivers, and other organizations with the goal of helping current and former foster youth towards a successful independent living by providing them with the resources they need.”

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