What I Didn’t Know Then


Kelli Covey




What I Didn't Know Then




While I remain a staunch supporter of national service, I also know it raises as many questions as it answers—ones we are duty bound to explore.


--Kelli Covey

Associate Director, Center for Civic Reflection


Civic EngagementLeadership Development


​In her essay, “What I Didn't Know Then,” Kelli Covey, the Associate Director of the Center for Civic Reflection, uses her personal experience as an AmeriCorps VISTA member to examine three questions: What impact does national service have? Is it truly a strategy for change? And if it is, what kind of change does it result in? Covey's story of her year of service on a North Dakota Native American reservation inspires discussion about the value of service, the motives that drive people to serve, the relationship between service and self-interest, and the value of following the questions that shape our lives, instead of racing to their answers.