Get to the Point Alumni spotlight
Gulf coast recovery
inspires lasting service
by Samantha Cass, Buffalo 2
Tiffany Zapico was a Corps Member on
Red 4, Class XIII, and also a Team Leader
for Blue 4, Class XIV at the Pacific Region.
She currently lives in Montclair, New Jer-
sey, right outside of New York City.
Tiffany first learned about AmeriCorps
NCCC while working at a restaurant. A
co-workers girlfriend, who was an
NCCC member at the time, told Tiffany
about her experience. Tiffany looks
back at this moment as, Just your ran-
dom good luck.
As a Corps Member, Tiffany took on
the role of Service Learning Coordina-
tor. Much of Tiffanys AmeriCorps life
consisted of projects along the Gulf
Coast. There, she assisted in disaster
recovery from the devastating Hurri-
cane Katrina and in doing so learned
quite a lot. She gained insight on her
own leadership skills as well as the
power of the community and that of her
team. Her most inspirational moment
was from a day of service named "The
Pascagoula Service Blitz."
My first round project as a Corps
Member, we were at Community Cen-
ter for a Day of Service. We wanted to
help some homeowners in a neighbor-
hood, so we invited other NCCC teams
for Independent Service Project hours.
A total of 67 Corps Members showed
up for the Day of Service, which made
me feel supported by the Corps. I really
enjoyed helping people and learning
that we could bring people together.
NCCC allowed her the opportunity to
meet new people, make new friends
whom she now considers as her family,
and she also enjoyed the road trips.
I seem to have caught the nomad
bug, she said. She likes to travel
from place to place. But most of all,
she greatly enjoyed seeing the appre-
ciation of the people for her help,
which in turn lead her to learn to re-
ally appreciate people.
AmeriCorps really helped shape her
career in non-profit management. After
graduating from NCCC, she took on a
position as a special education teacher
through Teach for America. Today, she
works for Reading Partners in New
York as a Program Manager while de-
voting her time to volunteering with
AmeriCorps Alums, the AmeriCorps
NCCC Advisory Board and she is the
chair of the AmeriCorps NCCC Alumni
Leadership Council. Her involvement
consists of connecting with other Al-
ums to bring them together for days of
service and job opportunities.
Buffalo 2 greatly enjoyed speaking with
her. For me personally, her story really
captivated me, and I really enjoyed
talking with her. For all of you who ever
get to meet her, shes a lot of fun.
Lastly, here are some words of advice
to all AmeriCorps NCCC Members,
courtesy of Tiffany: You all should
take a lot of pictures and videos. You
should write about your experiences,
because youll really look back on them
in a different light someday. Everyone
should enjoy every day for what it is.
Stay positive and always think possibil-
ities are endless in AmeriCorps NCCC.
Team Leader Tiffany Zapico with her Pacific Region team Blue 4.
An AmeriCorps tent in the Gulf region
where Corps members would gather.
Tiffany preps with proper PPE before
gutting a house in St. Bernard Parish