Meet Katherine Boyles. Katherine has joined the Exodus team as an AmeriCorps Public Ally member. She will be serving at Exodus for 10 months in the volunteer program.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m an Indianapolis native, and mother of three young women. I have a Master of Public Affairs in Urban Sustainability from IUPUI O’Neill and a Bachelor’s in Vocal Music Performance and Dance Education from IU School of Music. I’ve had many roles: singer and dancer, ESL teacher, mother, volunteer, and researcher. I am now serving my second term as an AmeriCorps Public Ally.
2. What does your role at Exodus entail?
As a Volunteer Coordinator, my role entails volunteer recruitment, training, and onboarding; adapting volunteer training and onboarding processes for the virtual environment; and working to increase volunteers’ engagement with Exodus’s mission.
I coordinate opportunities to speak to Indianapolis residents about refugee resettlement, how Exodus helps refugees and asylees in Indianapolis gain the skills and connections they need to thrive in their new lives, and the role community members play in welcoming refugees. I match volunteers with opportunities that best serve the volunteers and our clients. I am also working to improve our volunteer recognition opportunities.
3. Why did you want to get involved with serving at Exodus?
The welcoming of vulnerable immigrants is essential to what America promises to be. I feel that we have a responsibility, both on the world stage and to ourselves, as Americans, to work to fulfill that promise by welcoming all people who are striving to be free. And to ensure that our society is one in which they will be.
Both the people in my life who have benefited from the work of Exodus, and the thriving refugee communities we have in Indianapolis are a testament to Exodus’ good work. I’m proud to have the opportunity to serve an organization that does such important work so well.
4. How can the Indianapolis community be more inclusive and welcoming to refugees?
There are many ways to get involved with welcoming refugees to Indianapolis by volunteering or donating to Exodus. We have opportunities to teach English as a New Language, and mentor refugee families or teens. In-kind donations help Exodus set up homes for refugees when they first arrive. Groups can also sponsor a refugee family to help get them settled in a new home and mentor them during their first few months in Indianapolis.
Beyond that, we can work every day to ensure that Indianapolis is welcoming to everyone – no matter who they are or what their background, and that our community honors and respects all cultures.
5. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy reading, dancing in my living-room, harmonizing with my girls, and rehearsing local theater.