Panel for the People: Celebrating AmeriCorps Next Steps Mentors

By Ashley Knueppel | April 4, 2024

On April 2, 2024, Civic & Global Engagement hosted their annual Panel for the People. This event celebrates the amazing work of the AmeriCorps Next Steps Mentors and informs students how they, too, can earn a paycheck and important resume building skills through mentorship and community based work study

AmeriCorps Next Steps Mentors, Allison Velez and Kailyn Houston Young, shared what it is like to be a part of the program, what an average day looks like, and what they enjoy most.

“I love being helpful to new incoming students. I love being able to provide information and insight for them drawn from the knowledge I gained while being a college student and a next steps mentor. I also love curating safe spaces for people of all backgrounds and I feel being a mentor really allowed me the platform to do it.” – Kailyn Houston Young

“The thing I enjoy most is the people I have met: my mentees, my coworkers at the library, and the kids I tutor have become the highlights of my weekly routines. I have learned so much just through having relationships with these people and have been able to see how my presence in their life through this program has helped make their school year better.”-  Allison Velez

This college completion and success program implements civic engagement, mentorship, supportive workshops, and leadership development to help the students be the best they can be – both here on campus and after graduation. Next Steps Mentors have even gone on to obtain full time positions with AmeriCorps.

For students interested in learning more, the application for Academic Year 2024 – 2025 is now open! 

  • Act as a mentor to first year students
  • Work with community partners like Glenside Elementary, Jenkintown Food Cupboard, Kings & Queens of Philadelphia, Cradle of Hope, Philadelphia Libraries, and more!
  • Participants receive $12 per hour through Federal Work-Study for their community-based hours as they go along.
  • Upon completion of 300 hours, participants also earn an Education Award of $1459.26.
  • Pell-eligible students are given preference, but all students may apply.

If you have questions, please contact our Next Steps Mentor Team Leader, Amy Cruz at