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Americorps member follows passion to local position

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Annie Sprague

Annie Sprague is less than a month old in her position as an Americorps Member serving as Education and Volunteer Coordinator for Community Homeworks, but certainly not a novice when it comes to the world of non-profits.

Sprague was born and raised in Michigan and attended Michigan State University before moving to Seattle, Wash., to finish her degree in Political Philosophy at Evergreen State College.

When asked how her degree has been of help in her previous work and how it will apply to Community Homeworks, she answered that "Understanding where people come from and why they think as they do, is the essence for being able to help others."

Working in Seattle for six years within the low-income home sector, Sprague missed her family and friends and felt the need to return. Now a new homeowner and living in Kalamazoo, where she has her support system surrounding her, she is enjoying the green space that she sorely missed in the big city, the variety of micro-breweries, Art Hop, and the Kalamazoo Nature Center to name just a few of her favorites.

Regarding work and figuring out what to do upon her return, she turned to following her heart, which she adds "Is the best advice I can give anyone when looking for work. Do what you love and the rest will follow-including money."

"I'm fortunate to be able to be involved with an organization whose mission aligns with my core values of helping others," Sprague said.

Community Homeworks recently celebrated its five-year anniversary in conjunction with Furnace Fest, which raised more than $6,000 for the organization's weatherization, education, and critical repair programs.

Sprague is looking forward to getting the word out about the workshops that provide education to homeowners that help fulfill a basic need within our community and are very beneficial to those attending. Collaborations with other organizations, gathering more volunteers, and figuring out how to make the most of what they know about those who have attended and why is her personal goal. Sprague said she hopes to share and grow the good work that Community Homeworks is involved in.

Feeling lucky to be in Kalamazoo, Sprague refers to our fair city as having, "great, loving people in a community whose culture is flourishing. I love that our city is somewhat eclectic."

For those following in her footsteps, Sprague offers advice that she herself tries to follow.

"If you have a feeling to do something good, follow it," Sprague said. "Do what you love and you'll always be happy with yourself!"

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