Esther has served as an AmeriCorps volunteer since September 2007, supporting low-income families in Stanislaus County. As a longtime resident of Modesto, Esther became a volunteer so that she could give back to her community. She says that “serving with the AmeriCorps is fulfilling and has helped her to discover her purpose in life.”
For the past year, Esther volunteered with Stanislaus County’s Housing Authority, where she helped low income households obtain needed home repairs and connections to the city sewage system. After seeing the impact of her work, which served primarily the elderly and disabled, Esther decided to volunteer for a second year of service with AmeriCorps. This year, she is building upon her community development skills at the California Coalition for Rural Housing, a community organization that works to ensure affordable housing opportunities for low-income households. She is assisting families who have been caught up in the foreclosure crisis and managing a project to rehabilitate over 90 farm-worker housing units in her area.
Esther is driven by the experience of having come close to homelessness and desire to help those who do not have the strength to help themselves. She states that “after serving for one year, one realizes (at least I did) that there is still so much to do. One year of service is not enough… I would like the see the unincorporated areas of Modesto be brought up to the 20th century. I would like to see sidewalks in those areas, the playgrounds for the children fixed, and everyone hooked up to the city sewer.”