AmeriCorps Volunteer Joins YMCA Greater New Orleans' Adult Literacy Program

Meet Anna Pleskow

September 27, 2018
by Debbie Koehler

               Understanding different viewpoints. Working for social justice. Sharing experiences with others.

These are just some of the qualities Anna Pleskow likes about being part of the AmeriCorps program, often called the domestic Peace Corps.  Now based in New Orleans through Tulane University’s VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) Program, Anna’s new post has her working with the YMCA of Greater New Orleans for a one-year term. 

Her assignment includes coordinating most of the aspects of the YMCA’s adult literacy program, YES! (YMCA Educational Services).  Right now, she is concentrating on the organization’s 38th annual Corporate Cup—Second Line for Literacy. The 5K race is the major fundraiser for YES!

AmeriCorps engages young adults in a variety of areas from teaching children to read, making neighborhoods safer, building affordable homes and responding to natural disasters.  After their service is finished, members receive education awards to help finance future education or pay back student loans.

Anna is now starting her second year with AmeriCorps, having spent last year working throughout the western part of the country.  The Virginia native did fire recovery work in rural Washington state, Hurricane Harvey disaster relief in Houston, and aided the homeless at a shelter in Salt Lake City.  “Working with AmeriCorps taught me how meaningful connecting with people in all walks of life can be, as well as the value of getting involved at ground level,” said Anna. “Getting young people active in their communities sooner would create a giant, invisible force for good.”

Anna says her AmeriCorps experience has taught her so much about understanding different viewpoints and spending time with people and getting to know them and their experiences.

“My time with AmeriCorps continues to be the most incredible journey of connection and understanding, “ she said.  

A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, her future career plans include graduate and getting a master’s in social work with the possibility of working as an art therapist.