Commissioner Spotlight – Amanda Plasencia

Amanda Plasencia is a CaliforniaVolunteers Commissioner and a former AmeriCorps Member through Teach for America. Amanda is currently employed with Third Plateau, a social impact strategy consulting firm, and continues to work in the education field on creating lasting and meaningful social change.

“I am so grateful to have had this experience as a corps member. It is difficult and challenging. I would encourage potential corps members to reach out to your cohorts. This shared experience will help you get through difficult times and will help highlight the great times.

As an undergraduate student at the University of California, Davis, Amanda felt she knew which path she wanted her career to take. “I thought I was dead set to work in government for a year while I studied for the LSAT. One day while I was leaving a class, I saw a sign promoting Teach For America.” Passionate about education policy and academic mentorship and tutoring, Amanda decided to learn more and was quickly drawn to Teach for America (TFA).

Following her acceptance into the program in 2009, Amanda became a TFA corps member in the Greater Boston Region, serving this school and the surrounding community for three years. During this time, she decided to return to school to receive her Master of Education in Prevention Science and Practice. When she moved back to the west coast, Amanda knew that she wanted to continue this life of service, spending four years working in schools in her hometown of Sacramento.

For those individuals interested in serving and for current AmeriCorps members, Amanda has some words of advice: “Be patient with yourself and know that whatever you do after your experience, the skills you learn will absolutely help you in your future endeavors.” Participating in service is a transformative experience; one that allows service members to plant seeds that have a positive impact on the lives of those around you.

For Amanda, the most rewarding aspect of her service as a TFA corps member are the experiences that come as a result of that service. “Last fall, 9 years after I first stepped foot into a classroom, a student from my first class reached out to me to say thank you for making an impact on his life and to tell me that he had enrolled in an apprenticeship program. I am so proud of this young man and the hundreds of young people I’ve been able to support. I wasn’t the game changer for them. But I’m glad I was able to play a small part while the seeds of their future took root and began to blossom.”