Veterans Day Celebration: Amanda Williams
Our Outreach Coordinator had the pleasure of sitting down with a group of current and former VetsWork Interns to discuss their service, current roles, and connections to the outdoors. Read below about Amanda Williams, Public Outreach Specialist in Cordova, Alaska!
I am a Navy Veteran, Plane Captain/AZ3, served during 2005-2009. Honorably discharged as a third-class petty officer. Received the following medals: Good Conduct, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Current title is a Public Outreach Specialist in Cordova, Alaska.
Tell me about your current position
I currently work in Cordova, Alaska as a Public Outreach Specialist. My job covers quite a few areas and allows me to work with various departments. I am involved heavily in community outreach and relationship building, local events, photography, videography, story writing and organization support.
What is your favorite part about your position?
It is difficult to pick one favorite part of my job, as there are so many wonderful components to it! But if I absolutely had to choose one, it is the variety, no one day seems to be the same.
What is one thing you have learned so far? About yourself, this line of work, the organization, etc.?
I am an adventurous spirit, there is so much good work going on behind the scenes. I have said yes to many opportunities during this contract, even if It was an unknown, and feel as though I have rose to the challenge!
Tell me about your connection to the outdoors. What draws you to the natural world?
I feel extremely connected to the earth and nature. Growing up, I was always outside. I rode horses, hiked, biked, have been skiing since I was in kindergarten, surfed, built forts, you name it! As an adult, I feel an energetic obligation to protect this beautiful land we get to enjoy. The natural world has been here for eons, it is both still shrouded in mystery (what new things have we yet to discover) and enveloped in its endless beauty. I am drawn to its call to be wild, free, joyful and content.
How do you feel about working/living in the outdoors?
I always feel better being outside, I feel blessed I get to enjoy the great outdoors as part of my incredible experience with the Mt. Adams Institute.
Why do you think is it important to protect public lands and natural resources?
I feel I have an obligation to help educate and protect public lands and the natural resources at our disposal, both to help keep it clean and make sure it will be here for future generations to enjoy.
Service is a major focus of AmeriCorps. What does service mean to you?
The dictionary definition of service is “the action of helping or doing work for someone.” I have always felt I am a servant of humanity spirit, and helping others brings me great joy. Being of service is being in support of the greater good.
What made you decide to continue serving our country after your military service?
In the Navy, Honor, Courage and Commitment are values we hold highly, and I still strive to live by it. Being apart of the AmeriCorps, Mt. Adams Institute story has allowed me to operate as my best self and serve my community.
As a veteran, what was the transition like from active duty service to corps membership? Do you think other veterans could benefit from similar opportunities?
Personally, and thankfully, the transition from active duty to civilian life was relatively smooth, and I had a particular goal in mind. I took some time to pursue other interests before becoming an AmeriCorps member. Now serving in this capacity, I believe other veterans could benefit from this experience. It allows you to continue to be connected with other veterans and opens doors to positions and networking opportunities that might not have otherwise presented itself.
How has VetsWork affected your career goals?
I have always wanted to write, travel, be involved in public relations and public affairs, but it is now heightened. I would love to work for a federal organization in that capacity.
Interested in learning more about Cordova Alaska? Check out these resources: