Sonja Ringlever is on her third year as an AmeriCorps volunteer. She serves as the Communities in Schools representative at Burnet Middle School, which gave her a 20-kid case load right away.
But she doesn’t mind.
"I really love direct service. I really love children and families and I love working in communities," Ringlever said. "They treat their volunteers very well and treat them like they're part of the organization."
Students spend about an hour week with volunteers like Ringlever.
"The best part is seeing them succeed, sometimes it can be pretty slow,” she said. “That's why we work with them throughout the year--but just seeing them succeed just as far as their behavioral goals, or their academic goals."
AmeriCorps volunteers work 40 to 50 hours a week. OneStar Foundation operates the Texas program, and pays AmeriCorps volunteers get $12,000 for living expenses.
"In Texas, every year, we have about 4,500 AmeriCorps members through a number of different organizations take the pledge,” Elizabeth Darling with the OneStar Foundation said. "It helps them during that time in which they are giving of themselves in full time service."
Service as a lifestyle is how some choose to give back.
"As I've gotten older I've realized there is this level of civic duty to help others and things don't get done unless people join the pack and try to make a difference," Ringlever said.
If you would like to nominate someone for giving back, fill out the form at the bottom of this page.