After his graduation from East Texas Christian Academy, 19-year-old Jordan Walla decided he wanted to get his head out of the books and into a more hands-on project that could help on a national scale.

Walla applied and was chosen to participate in AmeriCorps, a civil service program that sends carefully selected men and women ages 18 to 24 to locations throughout the United States to focus on buliding character and community service.

“I wanted a break from school to do something meaningful, so after hearing about AmeriCorps I applied,” Walla said. “By the grace of God, I was selected, and it’s a great program.”

Walla has been assigned to a team of 11 who currently are working on a Habitat for Humanity project in southern Montana. The group is working on the foundation of two houses, and Walla said he has learned so much already in his month of being part of the AmeriCorps program, including knowledge on leadership and teamwork.

“We’ve been shoveling rocks to prepare the foundation for these homes,” Walla said. “We’ve helped put up six walls, so far, and will work on this for six weeks.”

Walla will complete his 10-monthlong service time with AmeriCorps after assisting with four main projects and deploying to multiple locations around the United States. AmeriCorps offers an education grant after completion of the program for up to $5,000 to go toward college.

"I’d definitely suggest joining AmeriCorps to someone after high school, because it’s a great way to serve the United States,” Walla said, adding he’s learned about construction on his current project and looks forward to his next big project.

TWITTER: @TMTMelissa

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