Center for Interfaith Cooperation

Hoosiers of Many Faiths in Community

IRSC member Nicholas Gilmore

New Immigrant & Refugee Service Corps (IRSC) member Nicholas Gilmore took some time to tell us about himself.

Who are you? Where’d you come from (geography, education, culture)? 

I want to be part of something that would serve a disadvantaged community while allowing me to gain insights and experience in an unfamiliar atmosphere.

I hail from Cicero, Indiana, where I attended Cicero United Methodist Church. My great-great-grandfather Josef Petri hailed from Moritzfeld, Hungary, which was a Catholic village that is now called Măureni, Romania. Nicholas had the pleasure of visiting Măureni during a solo backpacking trip around Europe after earning a Bachelor’s degree from Ball State University in 2013. I studied video production and creative writing. I’ve always found meaning in storytelling with digital media and prose, but have recently discovered the beauty of practicality in cooking and gardening. I’m constantly searching for opportunities to utilize all of these skills creatively in my service.

Why did you join AmeriCorps?

AmeriCorps seemed like the logical next step in a journey of mindfulness and community involvement. I want to be part of something that would serve a disadvantaged community while allowing me to gain insights and experience in an unfamiliar atmosphere.

What are you doing with IRSC? Why do you think it will be important?

I serve at Felege Hiywot Center, a youth urban gardening and Ethiopian community center. I work to increase the capacity of the farm as well as establish and maintain programming that connects FHC with other Indianapolis organizations focused on food security and healthcare of immigrants and refugees. Giving urban youth exposure to sustainable gardening and fostering new, meaningful relationships with fresh food is the kind of impact IRSC strives for in terms of community health.

What do you plan to do when you finish AmeriCorps, and how do you think your IRSC tour of duty will contribute?

I would like to reenter academia, and, hopefully, emerge with an MFA. My service at Felege Hiywot marks my first experience as an “instructor,” and I know this will prove invaluable in the pursuance of a Master’s degree. I find Aster Bekele, executive director and founder of FHC, to be particularly inspirational, and I treasure our partnership.


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