By Alicia Cook
Bloomfield College alumnus, Earvin Casciano ’17, has spent the last 11 months with AmeriCorps, a civil society program supported by the U.S. federal government and other donors engaging adults in public service work with a goal of "helping others and meeting critical needs in the community." In August, he will leave to spend 27 months in Fiji with the Peace Corps.
Casciano is a member of the Literacy AmeriCorps and serves as graduation coach. As a graduation coach, he acts as a more hands-on, personalized guidance counselor to students at risk of not graduating high school due to various reasons. He makes sure they attend class and that they complete the requirements necessary for graduation as mandated by the Florida Board of Ed.
“My time in AmeriCorps has been one of my most transformative times thus far. I took a risk in leaving my home state of New Jersey behind to come to south Florida and live for a year with people I did not know. But with risk comes reward!” said Casciano. “Throughout my time in the Literacy AmeriCorps of Palm Beach County program, I have discovered what I really want to do with my life. I stepped out of my comfort zone. I have made lifelong friends, and I have learned how to effectively function on my own as an adult. I am forever changed as a result of this experience.”
During his senior year at Bloomfield College, Casciano applied for the Peace Corps and was accepted as first alternate. It was then that he focused his energy on the AmeriCorps, as the program is often seen as a domestic Peace Corps.
Though his time with AmeriCorps was life changing, he did not lose sight of his ultimate goal of entering the Peace Corps. He never gave up on his dream and continued to apply to Peace Corps, submitting for a Community Youth Worker position in the Ukraine, but after months of not hearing anything, began to grow worried.
Then in February, he received an email from a Peace Corps Placement Officer that was running the program in Fiji. He was interested in scheduling an interview with Casciano. Since candidates can only have one application active at a time, Casciano terminated his Ukraine pursuit and met with the Placement Officer for Fiji. He was accepted into the program the very next day as a Community Youth Empowerment Volunteer.
“While with the Peace Corps, I hope to grow more as a person both personally and professionally. I hope to help the community of Fiji in any way that I can. I will use my unique skillset to be the greatest asset to Fiji and the Peace Corps that I can be,” said Casciano.
Following the Peace Corps, Casciano hopes to attend graduate school in Florida and begin the next phase of his life in Florida. He would like to coach college football full time but also would like to be a certified high school guidance counselor, a job that aligns very closely to the one he currently holds in AmeriCorps as a graduation coach.
“I use the skills I learned in my English classes at Bloomfield College on a daily basis; how to effectively research, write, to think critically about my future, and to communicate with my colleagues in a professional setting,” Casciano shared. “I want to thank the entire Humanities Division at Bloomfield College for the time and effort they put into my education. I want to give a special thank you to Dr. Paul Puccio who served as my academic advisor during my years at the College. He has taught me so many things that I will remember for the rest of my life. The life lessons he has imparted in me I will try to instill in the other people like he has so graciously done for me."