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Devontae Springer, AmeriCorps California Alum ’22

Join us in celebrating Devontae Springer, an AmeriCorps alum who served with California Justice Leaders from 2020 to 2022. Devontae now continues his service as a research analyst for Impact Justice, CEO and founder of Community House Activism (CHA), licensed real estate agent, and proud father. A round of applause for Devontae, his achievements, and his dedication to serving Californians!

What are you up to now after service?

I’m currently at Impact Justice as a research analyst. Prior to being a research analyst, I was in the AmeriCorps program with Impact Justice called California Justice Leaders* for about three years. During my third year, I served as a senior member and was offered an opportunity to join the team.

I also have my own nonprofit that I run called Community House Activism (CHA).  We provide storytelling and advocacy training to system-impacted young adults. I recently earned my real estate license and plan to transition full-time as a real estate agent following the completion of this year with Impact Justice.

What motivated you to start your own nonprofit?

Storytelling changed my life. When I was a teenager, I experienced a lot of legal issues. In 2018, I joined the nonprofit organization My Brother’s Keeper, in Sacramento, where I had multiple public speaking opportunities. That’s when I first got introduced to storytelling and learned to be comfortable with telling my own story. In 2020, I learned that I wanted to teach young people how to tell their own story because I think it’s a valuable tool to have. I learned to see storytelling as a way to connect and gain a better understanding of one another and to advocate on issues related to the community. 

At CHA, we provide advocacy training. Out storytelling course is aimed to teach participants how to tell their life story and turn it into a five-minute narrative.

What are your long-term career goals?

I want to continue running and growing my own non-profit and real estate business. I would love for Community House Activism to have their own media platform and property. I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do as far as being an entrepreneur and working in my community. Being an advocate is my dream work and I am excited to continue to expand my reach to more people in the community.

How has AmeriCorps California supported you in your career?

AmeriCorps supported me through my experience serving in the California Justice Leaders program where I had the opportunity to work with other system-impacted people with similar backgrounds, struggles, and passion to live a positive life.

Another big takeaway is receiving the Segal Education award for the three years that I served. I’ve only used one award from the three, so I have a pot of money just sitting in my AmeriCorps portal that I can use whenever I’m ready to go to school or pay for classes or programs. That’s a huge benefit!

AmeriCorps California alum Devontae Springer ‘22 (third from left), speaks on a panel at the AmeriCorps National Symposium in Washington, DC in November 2023.

What advice would you give to a current AmeriCorps California Member?

Let your purpose be your reason for showing up every day—let that be your drive.

How did you find out about California Justice Leaders?

I was going through some legal stuff and was in juvenile hall. The program director from Anti Recidivism Coalition (ARC)**, Victor, taught classes in juvenile hall and later became a mentor. Anti Recidivism Coalition is a program that helps youth and adults stay out of the system and provides housing, education, and employment resources to aid the reentry process. Long story short, I met my mentor in juvenile hall. That was my intro to ARC. I continued to work with Victor even when I was out and attended all events I was invited to. I remained connected with ARC and fast forward two or three years later, another director told me about the open AmeriCorps position at the office.

He explained what the position entailed and what stood out to me was the opportunity to work in the juvenile hall system and mentor youth, which was the California Justice Leaders program. The California Justice Leaders program was looking to hire credible messengers to increase the state’s knowledge about the new honorable discharge petition process and also help youth transfer back to their counties and reenter back into society.

What motivated you to apply to the program?

My passion to mentor youth in the juvenile hall system inspired me to join and stay in the program for three years. Meeting Victor helped me get out of juvenile hall and provided the opportunity to get involved in the community. I knew if I could do this, I could be the Victor for someone else. 

I am proud that I successfully got one person granted their honorable discharge and had the opportunity to speak at their board hearing. I am also proud to have supported youth with their resume or to apply for classes at a community college.  However, seeing that guy get an honorable discharge—that was the highlight from all of my three years.

➡️  Be like Devontae and become an AmeriCorps California Member! Learn more & apply.

➡️  Access resources available to you as a California Service Corps alum on the Alumni Network website.

*California Justice Leaders is an AmeriCorps California program from California Volunteers, Office of the Governor.

**Anti Recidivism Coalition is a partner organization of the California Justice Leaders program.