Gamma Phi Circus alumna Anna Krecklow ’20 has made a positive impact in her post-graduate career.
Krecklow serves as a team leader for AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps), a national service organization. She currently leads a team of nine people, traveling around the southern region of the country to complete service work with a variety of nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity and Carteret Long Term Recovery Alliance.
She originally became connected with AmeriCorps NCCC after her involvement in the Alternative Breaks program at Illinois State University, where she led international trips to Costa Rica and Kenya. Her experience as a trip leader helped land her the role as team leader that she holds today.
“It was the perfect balance of performing service work and having the opportunity to develop my leadership skills,” she said.
Krecklow was a four-year member of the Gamma Phi Circus in her time at Illinois State. She majored in organizational leadership management in the College of Business and participated in the Honors Program, Alternative Breaks Program, and a business honor society.
Some of her favorite memories were made in the time she spent participating in Gamma Phi Circus. In her four years of performing, she was involved in tumbling, juggling, acrobats, teeterboard, and jump rope acts.
Krecklow said that performing in the Spring Home Show was always the highlight of her time spent in Gamma Phi.
“I remember the end of my first show, taking the final bow and hearing the crowd. I felt pure joy in that moment and was happy to be part of something so amazing,” she said.
She was disappointed that she couldn’t perform in a final show during her senior year due to COVID-19, but said she was grateful for the opportunities she received in her time at Illinois State. Gamma Phi Circus also prepared her for the work she does now in a few different ways.
“I think one of the biggest things I learned is the skill of working with different groups of people. One of the great things about being involved in the circus was that it was very diverse, and I got to work with a lot of different people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise,” she said.
The commitment to being involved in the circus also taught her valuable time management skills that she uses in her current role.
There are some challenging aspects that accompany her leadership position. The job includes frequent travel, nontraditional work hours, an on-call status, and the requirement to play many roles as a team leader.
“I love helping people and I’m really in my element here. We’re doing a lot of good work for people in need and while it’s challenging, it’s definitely worth it,” she said.
Krecklow said that being able to provide ongoing help for people who have been struggling long term is one of the most rewarding parts of her job.
“What some people don’t realize is that after a disaster hits and recovery efforts begin, the news might not continue to cover it, but people still need help,” she said. “Being able to continue to help people who have been struggling for quite some time is nice. That’s one of the most rewarding parts of the job for me.”
As far as the future goes, Krecklow plans to continue her work with AmeriCorps and hopes to come back someday to watch future Gamma Phi Circus performances as an alumna.
Interested in learning more about the Gamma Phi Circus at Illinois State? Check out the Gamma Phi Circus website for more information.