Hannah Lancaster

Crabtree Farms of Chattanooga AmeriCorps Member

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Why did you decide to be an AmeriCorps member?
I decided to be an AmeriCorps member because it allowed me a more long term way of generating experience in the nonprofit world than doing a traditional “internship” and in a capacity where I could learn more things about farming and community engagement. I am currently getting my Masters of Public Administration so I wanted a flexible workspace that could support my crazy schedule and still give me the experience and engagement I wanted to help further my career.

What experiences have you gained or skills have you learned so far?
I have learned SO MUCH in my first two months into my service at Crabtree Farms. I am currently working in the greenhouse and have helped grow thousands of plants from seed and propagation for our Spring Plant Sale. I have also learned a ton about community engagement and program planning which is one of my passions and focuses in my research. The AmeriCorps team here is planning and implementing a community garden so I have learned a lot about how to take my knowledge of program planning into the field, literally and figuratively.

What impact do you hope to leave on the community you are serving?
I hope to leave an impact on the surrounding neighborhoods of Crabtree Farms. By increasing the engagement of the surrounding neighborhood and providing opportunities to learn and grow your own food I hope this empowers people to realize their own knowledge and get connected to what they eat and provide for themselves and their families.

In one sentence, what would you tell someone who is interested in becoming an AmeriCorps member?
Being an AmeriCorps member is a selfless act; there is not the traditional benefit of having job security and a high paying gig, but the experience and people you meet along the way make it so worth it!