Why I Serve: Zakeria Clark

Posted by Wesley Paraham on Mar 12, 2020

March 8-14 is AmeriCorps Week 2020, and we’re celebrating each day by shining a light on one of the dedicated and hard-working AmeriCorps Service Members serving at BRIDGES! 

My name is Zakeria and I am 26 years old from Memphis, TN. I have my bachelors in psychology from Sewanee: The University of the South. I also have my masters in developmental disabilities from Nova Southeastern University. I am currently pursuing my certification in applied behavior analysis, to further my knowledge to be a better service of our youth. I have always enjoyed working with youth of all ages and being a mentor to them. I knew my career choice was going to revolve around them. I like to consider myself as an ambivert. I love going out and interacting with others, but I also love my alone time and being secluded. I enjoy dancing, reading, spending time with my family, and watching movies. I like to try out new hobbies and explore new things. I have begun traveling a lot and get a thrill out of experiencing new places.

I chose to serve as an AmeriCorps member because I wanted to help youth make a difference in their community and develop their voice. I have been living in Memphis my entire life and I have seen my city go through many changes, good and bad. Becoming an AmeriCorps member allowed me to collaborate with other members and youth to raise awareness and create action steps for our community. With AmeriCorps, I can work with others who share the same vision and mission as me. Together we can create a safe, healthy, and enriching environment for our youth to thrive in.

I chose the Bridge Builders program because of its mission and what it stands for. BRIDGES believes that all youth have the capability of being a leader and just need guidance to develop those preexisting skills. When I was in high school, I participated in the Bridge Builders COLLABORATE program. I benefited greatly from the program and everything I learned has stuck with me. My experience with Bridge Builders was life changing and it helped awaken the leader in me. I went from being the girl in the background who was too scared to use her voice, to the girl who wasn’t afraid to speak up and use her leadership qualities to lead for the greater good. My personal experience was so impactful, that I chose to come back and help create impactful experiences for others.