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Robert E. Wone Award

Opportunities to Enrich Lives, Improve Communities, and Build a Stronger America

Nearly 9,300 people of all ages and backgrounds are making a difference at more than 1,300 locations across Virginia. From mentoring children to restoring the environment, volunteers serving these programs touch lives, strengthen their communities and encourage civic involvement. This year, the Corporation for National and Community Service will commit more than $12,330,000 to support Virginia communities through three national service programs.

National Service Programs

AmeriCorps provides opportunities for Americans to make an ongoing, intensive commitment to service through three programs:

  • AmeriCorps*State and National offers grants that support a broad range of local service programs that engage thousands of Americans in intensive service to meet critical community needs.
  • AmeriCorps*NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) is a full-time residential program for men and women aged 18-24 that strengthens communities while developing leaders through direct, team-based national and community service.
  • AmeriCorps*VISTA provides full-time members to community organizations and public agencies to create and expand programs in order to bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty.

Senior Corps taps the rich experience, skills and talents of older citizens to meet community challenges.

  • Foster Grandparents connects volunteers age 55 and over with children and young people with exceptional needs.
  • The Senior Companion Program brings together volunteers age 55 and over with adults in their community who have difficulty with simple day-to-day tasks.
  • Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) offers "one stop shopping" for all volunteers 55 and over who want to find challenging, rewarding, and significant service opportunities.

 

  • Tuesday, November 10
    10:00am How-to-Apply Webinar - AmeriCorps State
  • 1:30pm How-to-Apply Webinar - AmeriCorps VISTA
  • Monday, January11
    RFP released by Office on Volunteerism and Community Service (OVCS)
  • Monday, February 1
    Intent to apply deadline for prospective applicants
  • Wednesday, February 10
    Mandatory eGrants training for prospective applicants - 1:00pm
    - Participants will receive an overview of key elements of the RFP and have the opportunity to ask questions
  • Thursday, March 11 (5:00pm)
    Deadline to submit applications to Office on Volunteerism and Community Service via eGrants

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Virginians ready to serve their communities as AmeriCorps members were sworn in during ceremonies at John Tyler Community College, Oct. 16 and Mountain Empire Community College, Nov. 1. At the ceremonies, Virginia AmeriCorps members were honored with the second annual Robert E. Wone Award for Exemplary Service. Established in memory of Robert Wone, a former member of the Virginia Governor's Commission on Community and National Service (2002-06), the award recognizes an AmeriCorps member who has exhibited outstanding civic engagement and community service. The AmeriCorps Launch ceremony is held each fall to introduce new AmeriCorps members embarking on a year of service to the Commonwealth.

Americorps Launch Ceremonies

Registration for 2008 AmeriCorps launch ceremonies has closed.

Virginia AmeriCorpsAmeriCorps*National provides grants directly to national public and nonprofit organizations that sponsor service programs, Indian tribes, and consortia formed across two or more states, including faith-based and community organizations, higher education institutions, and public agencies. Grants assist these groups in recruiting, training and placing AmeriCorps members to meet critical community needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.

Purpose

The purpose of AmeriCorps*National is to engage AmeriCorps members in direct service and capacity-building to address unmet community needs. Local programs design service activities for a team of members serving full- or part-time for one year or during the summer. Sample activities include tutoring and mentoring youth, assisting crime victims, building homes, and restoring parks. AmeriCorps members also mobilize community volunteers and strengthen the capacity of the organizations where they serve.

The organizations that receive grants are responsible for recruiting, selecting, and supervising AmeriCorps members to serve in their programs.

Who May Apply for AmeriCorps*National Grants?

AmeriCorps*National accepts applications from:

  • National nonprofit organizations that operate in two or more states
  • Indian tribes
  • Consortia formed across two or more states, consisting of institutions of higher education, or other nonprofits, including labor, faith-based and other community organizations

Learn more about applying for grants from AmeriCorps*National.

Do You Want to Serve in an AmeriCorps*State and National Program?

The National Direct Program Listing is currently being updated. 

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Virginia AmeriCorps NCCCAmeriCorps*NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) is a 10-month full-time, team-based residential program for men and women ages 18-24 who serve in a region's local communities by meeting needs in the areas of: natural and other disasters (all phases); urban and rural development; environmental stewardship and conservation; infrastructure improvement; and energy conservation. Members respond to disasters, construct homes, develop trails in state and national parks, mentor youth, oversee emergency shelters, organize donations of food, clothing and other materials, lead volunteers and meet other needs identified by communities. Members receive CPR and First Aid training, room and board, valuable work experience and an education award of $5350 that can be used to pay tuition or student loans.

Learn about the impact of Americorps*NCCC in Virginia.

Learn about what kind of projects AmeriCorps*NCCC can do in Virginia.

Virginia AmeriCorpsAmeriCorps*State operates through the Virginia Office on Volunteerism and Community Service (OCVS) and the Governor-appointed Advisory Board on National and Community Service to provide grants to public and nonprofit organizations that sponsor service programs throughout Virginia, including faith-based and community organizations, higher education institutions, and public agencies. Grants assist these groups in recruiting, training and placing more than 720 AmeriCorps*State members annually to meet critical community needs in education, economic opportunity, veteran and military family services, health, the environment, and disaster services across Virginia. Since 1994, more than 13,000 Virginia residents have served over 20 million hours and qualified for AmeriCorps Education Awards totaling more than $41,110,000.

Purpose

The purpose of AmeriCorps*State is to engage AmeriCorps members in direct service and capacity-building to address unmet community needs. Local programs design service activities for a team of members serving full- or part-time for one year or during the summer. Sample activities include tutoring and mentoring youth, assisting crime victims, building homes, and restoring parks. AmeriCorps members also mobilize community volunteers and strengthen the capacity of the organizations where they serve.

The organizations that receive grants are responsible for recruiting, selecting, and supervising AmeriCorps members to serve in their programs.

Who May Apply for AmeriCorps*State Grants?

Roughly three-quarters of all AmeriCorps' funding available in Virginia is allocated by OCVS. We oversee an annual Request for Proposal process that solicits and funds grant proposals from community and faith-based organizations seeking to use AmeriCorps service members in the delivery of program services. Additional AmeriCorps funding, available through the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), is distributed directly to state, multi-state, and national organizations through a competitive grants process. For AmeriCorps*State, OVCS accepts applications from:

  • State and local nonprofit organizations
  • Community and faith-based organizations
  • State, local, and higher education institutions
  • State and local governments
  • U.S. Territories

Learn more about applying for AmeriCorps*State funding.

Do You Want to Serve in an AmeriCorps*State Program?

In exchange for their service, AmeriCorps members may earn an education award of up to $5,350 that can be used to pay for college or to pay back qualified student loans.

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Working to Provide Long-term Solutions to Poverty

Virginia AmeriCorps VISTAAmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) provides full-time members to nonprofit, faith-based and other community organizations, and public agencies to create and expand programs that bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty.

AmeriCorps*VISTA members leverage human, financial, and material resources to increase the capacity of thousands of low-income areas across the country to address challenges and improve their lives and communities.

They leave behind lasting solutions to some of our country's toughest problems. For more information, visit AmeriCorps*VISTA. CNCS's Virginia State Office administers AmeriCorps*VISTA in our state.

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Last year, Virginia AmeriCorps State offered nearly 400 individuals the opportunity to provide intensive, results-driven service in communities across Virginia. Learn how Virginia AmeriCorps is Getting Things Done.

Download the 2012-2013 AmeriCorps State and National Annual Report [PDF - 4MB]

Each year, AmeriCorps NCCC engages teams of members in projects in communities across the United States. Service projects, which typically last from six to eight weeks, address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. Members construct and rehabilitate low-income housing, respond to natural disasters, clean up streams, help communities develop emergency plans, and address countless other local needs. Some of NCCC’s priorities include working with veteran related organizations and disaster preparation projects.

To apply for the support of an AmeriCorps NCCC team, organizations apply through a simple two-step process. The first step is submitting a Project Concept Form to the campus. After review, eligible organizations will complete the full Service Project Application. The campus can provide support in project development and preparing the sponsor for hosting a team. There is no cost to host an AmeriCorps NCCC team nor does AmeriCorps NCCC provide financial support.

Virginia is supported by the Southern Region Campus based out of Vicksburg, Mississippi. To learn more about AmeriCorps NCCC, contact Assistant Program Director Stephanie Gittinger at sgittinger@cns.gov or 601-630-4068.

For organizations interested in hosting a team in 2014, the deadlines and available project rounds can be found in the 2014 Request for Proposals.

The Virginia Department of Social Services, Office on Volunteerism and Community Service, accepts responses to the Request for Proposals for the AmeriCorps*State program at the beginning of each calendar year. Grants are available to public and nonprofit organizations that sponsor service programs throughout Virginia, including faith-based and community organizations, higher education institutions, and public agencies. These grants assist groups in recruiting, training and placing individuals, as AmeriCorps members, to meet critical community needs in education, economic opportunity, and serving military veterans and their families.

2014-15 AmeriCorps*State Program Funding Announcement

The 2014-15 AmeriCorps*State Request for Proposals/Applications closed at 3:00 p.m. EST on January 3, 2014. OVCS will review applications for formula funding in February, and a package will be sent for final approval to the Corporation for National and Community Service in May, 2014.

If your organization/agency would like to explore the possibilities of AmeriCorps*State, you may want to begin with submittal of a concept paper to OVCS. OVCS is committed to assisting organizations with the development of new program designs and the establishment of partnerships that will lead to future AmeriCorps*State programs, through no-cost technical assistance and training. Follow these instructions to submit a concept paper, and OVCS will provide feedback and schedule a conversation to discuss possibilities.

The Corporation for National and Community Service Virginia State Office accepts applications for the AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America) program throughout the year. Grants are available to public and nonprofit organizations that sponsor service programs throughout Virginia, including faith-based and community organizations, higher education institutions, and public agencies. These grants assist groups in recruiting, training and placing individuals, as AmeriCorps members, to meet critical community needs in the following areas: education, environment, health, poverty, public safety, and other human needs.

New to AmeriCorps?

Organizations interested in learning more about AmeriCorps and becoming a sponsoring organization review the presentations and resources below.

Recruiting and engaging Virginians with disabilities in volunteer service is fundamental to our mission to "provide service opportunities for individuals of all ages and backgrounds." Persons with disabilities contribute a wide range of talents to our communities and desire opportunities to serve in significant ways. In addition, successful organizations strive to assemble a wide and diverse volunteer force into their service efforts, part of which means including persons with disabilities. According to the latest U.S. Census, over 49 million men, women and children of all ages, races, ethnic backgrounds, economic levels and religious affiliations have some form of disability, many of which take the form of hidden disabilities. Hidden disabilities include mental and cognitive disabilities, some hearing and visual impairments, alcoholism and addiction, Epilepsy, Diabetes, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Virginia AmeriCorps

See and hear the stories of Americorps members with disabilities.
Read testimonials on ways members are serving their communities through AmeriCorps.

Partners

The Office on Volunteerism and Community Service (OVCS) leverages partnerships that advocate for persons with disabilities so their lives are enhanced from the benefits of volunteerism.

  • The Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) provides opportunities for all Virginians to engage in service. In concert with DRS, networks of associations throughout the state match persons with disabilities with volunteer opportunities. The Workforce Networks are groups of businesses, volunteer organizations, and job or rehabilitative specialists. Currently, eighteen Workforce Networks exist across the state to share information on clients and opportunities. If you are a director or manager of a nonprofit organization or volunteer program (national or community service), review the contact list of Workforce Network managers and find the network nearest your organization. They can assist you in identifying prospective volunteers (AmeriCorp members or traditional volunteers) to recruit for your program. If you are a prospective AmeriCorp member and would like further assistance or information, please contact the program manager for the program that interests you (AmeriCorps program listings).
  • The Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are non-residential places of action and coalition, where persons with disabilities learn empowerment and develop the skills necessary to make lifestyle choices. Centers provide services and advocacy to promote the leadership, independence, and productivity of people with disabilities. Centers work with both individuals as well as with the local communities to remove barriers to independence and ensuring equality of persons with disabilities.
  • University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) is a network of interdisciplinary centers advancing policy and practice for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities. Virginia's UCEDD is located at Virginia Commonwealth University and is called the Partnership for People with Disabilities.
  • Virginia Board for People with Disabilities assists Virginians by promoting and guiding public policy changes that create opportunities for new approaches in service delivery systems for persons with disabilities. The Virginia Special Education Network is a grassroots communications network created by the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities and State Special Education Advisory Committee (SSEAC). Parents, transition-aged students, educators, and others in your community who work with the disabled are encouraged to join the network. For additional information, contact Tom Driscoll at (800) 846-4464, e-mail: thomas.driscoll@vbpd.virginia.gov.
  • Virginia Easy Access is a new Web resource for seniors and adults with disabilities. The site provides information about public benefits and programs for individuals and caregivers, allowing them to search for specific services in their communities.
  • The National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP) which provides OVCS technical assistance, training, and product dissemination.

There are many ways to serve, and many reasons. Each one is an opportunity to express your patriotism, deepen your ties to the community, and do lasting good. For opportunities in Virginia, review the Virginia AmeriCorps State program listing or Virginia AmeriCorps National program listing.

To decide what program is right for you, ask yourself a few questions:

  • How much do I currently know about AmeriCorps?
  • Where would I like to serve?
  • What area of service am I interested in (tutoring, environment, public safety, etc.)?
  • Do I want to serve full-time, part-time or less?

How to Apply

There are a few different ways to receive an AmeriCorps application and/or apply to the Virginia AmeriCorps State program of your choice. Some programs have their own application process, therefore contact the program you would like to join to confirm that they accept the standard, national AmeriCorps application.

• Apply on-line directly by registering and completing an application at: https://my.americorps.gov
• Contact a Virginia AmeriCorps State program or Virginia AmeriCorps National program directly.
• Contact the Corporation for National & Community Service at 1-800-942-2677 or click here to download and print an application.

Eligibility Requirements

To become a Virginia AmeriCorps member you must:

  • Reside in Virginia as a U.S. Citizen, national or lawful permanent resident alien;
  • be at least 17 years old;
  • be able to serve full-time (1700 hours) or part-time (900 hours) over a ten-to-twelve month period.

Benefits of Joining AmeriCorps

  • For one year of full-time service, members can receive an education award to pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back student loans.
  • Serving part-time with AmeriCorps provides members with a partial education award.
  • About half of AmeriCorps members receive a modest annual living allowance.
  • Members receive health insurance, training, and student loan postponement.
  • Those members who serve in Virginia are also eligible for Workers' Compensation.

If you currently receive any kind of benefit (TANF, SSI, SSDI, etc.), you will want to know if the AmeriCorps stipend or education award will impact those benefits.

Additional Information

For more information, a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) is available at the Corporation for National and Community Service web site. Generally, Virginia AmeriCorps State programs begin their service year in the fall (September-October), and recruit new AmeriCorps members as early as June. If you would like additional information, contact the Office on Volunteerism and Community Service toll-free at (800) 638-3839, in the Richmond area at (804) 726-7064, or via email at info@vaservice.org.

 

Established in memory of the late Robert E. Wone (pictured right), a former member of the Governor's Commission on Community and National Service (2002-2006) and Northern Virginia resident, the award recognizes an AmeriCorps member who exhibits outstanding community service. Candidates for this award must have served as a Virginia AmeriCorps member during the previous program year and be returning for the subsequent program year, must exemplify dedication and leadership within their AmeriCorps program, and have been nominated by their AmeriCorps Program Director, Program staff or by a fellow AmeriCorps member. There can be only one nominee per AmeriCorps program.  Historically, the award has been presented in the fall as part of the Virginia AmeriCorps launch activities. 

About Robert E. Wone

In addition to his service on the Governor’s Commission, Mr. Wone was a tireless activist and volunteer who actively advanced the interests of many charitable organizations and provided many hours of pro bono legal services to help others. While with the Commission, Mr. Wone was instrumental in establishing the Virginia Service Foundation, which supports volunteer and community service initiatives throughout the Commonwealth.

Robert Wone, who grew up in New York, received a bachelor's degree in public policy from the College of William and Mary and his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. At his graduation from William and Mary in 1996, Mr. Wone was presented with the highly prized Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for distinguishing himself and excelling in “characteristics of heart, mind, and helpfulness to others.”

Mr. Wone clerked in Norfolk with Raymond A. Jackson, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia and in 2000, joined the law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, DC, where he was an associate focusing on employment law and commercial real estate. While there, he provided pro bono services to several community organizations, including the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center and was instrumental in facilitating the expansion of the Museum of Chinese in the Americas in New York City. At the time of his death in August 2006, Mr. Wone served as General Counsel for Radio Free Asia, a nonprofit group that broadcasts news in Asian countries that are unable to receive free media. He was also the President-elect of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA).

See a complete list of community organization involvement, as well as service awards and scholarships in honor of Robert E. Wone.

Senior Corps is a network of programs that tap the experience, skills, and talents of older citizens to meet community challenges with Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions, and RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program).

Virginia Senior CorpsMore than 8,600 seniors in Virginia contribute their time and talents in one of three Senior Corps programs. Foster Grandparents serve one-on-one as tutors and mentors to more than 3,000 young people who have special needs. Senior Companions help more than 330 homebound seniors and other adults maintain independence in their own homes. Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteers conduct safety patrols for local police departments, participate in environmental projects, tutor and mentor youth, respond to natural disasters, and provide other services through more than 1,000 groups across Virginia. For more details, visit Senior Corps.

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Each month an AmeriCorps Member is highlighted for their outstanding service in the community.

Fara Sloan
April 2014

Congratulations to Fara Sloan, serving with the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, our April AmeriCorps Member of the Month. Fara, who comes from a military background having served in the U.S. Navy for five years, is is also married to a veteran. For a number of years she worked in the field of social service and played an instrumental role in founding a small nonprofit. She later decided to leave the workforce to focus on raising her children and taking care of her sick father.

During her current service term, Fara experienced some challenges at her Operation Homefront site. Due to some changes in staff, she had to assume additional service responsibilities. However, she has embraced these changes and has played a key role in ensuring the organization's outreach program continues to thrive. Fara was responsible for collecting and distributing Easter baskets to children at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital. This event was featured in the local military newspaper. Fara is now assisting with two of her site's major special events; their annual golf tournament (which will raise funds for Operation Homefront programs) and a special baby shower (benefiting service members who are in the lower enlisted ranks and expecting a child).

When asked why she serves so tirelessly she states, "That I enjoy helping others especially veterans.” Thank you Fara, for your service to your country and continued service to our valued veterans.

Honorable Mentions for April: Ashley Gunter, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lynchburg; John Eshler, CARITAS; Janice Watson, Carroll County Public Schools; Ramona Hinkle, City of Richmond; Kimberely Jones, Community Housing Partners; Brittany Crotts, Heart of Compassion Partnerships; Daniel Perkins, New River Community Action; Seth Helmandollar and Amy Berry, Occupational Enterprises, Inc; and Lesley Greene, Virginia Commonwealth University.

Xavier Munoz
March 2014

We are proud to recognize Xavier Munoz, from The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia (LCNV) as our March AmeriCorps Member of the Month. Drawing from his one and a half years’ experience with LCNV, Xavier expanded the impact of his service beyond the Northern Virginia area by presenting at the 2014 Virginia Literacy Leadership Council Conference held in Richmond. The annual conference is “the only statewide conference in Virginia designed for teachers, program managers and administrators of community-based adult literacy organizations.” After a last-minute cancellation, Xavier was asked to give a presentation less than two months before the conference was to take place. Despite the late invitation, Xavier demonstrated coolness under pressure by creating and delivering a 75-minute workshop of his own design. His workshop had participants take part in a 45-minute language learning experience. That is, he taught the participants a lesson entirely in Japanese, a foreign language in which virtually none of the nearly 30 participants had any experience. Language learning experiences are often used in language teacher education programs to help teachers experience what it can be like in class for their students and be better able to understand varied student perspectives on the learning process.

Xavier’s presentation was a great success! One of the program administrators shared that she learned three things that she looked forward to bringing back to her program. In a session later the same day, a presenter repeatedly referenced Xavier’s workshop to illustrate points she was making about effective language teaching. Organizers received so much positive feedback on the delivery and content of his workshop that they have asked him to present again in 2015.

To cap off the month of March, we are proud to share that Xavier Munoz received national recognition as a Cesar E. Chavez Champion of Change! The White House selected “10 community leaders who embody the spirit of Chavez’s legacy. Xavier, along with the other nine honorees, participated in a panel discussion about his motivations to serve adult and immigrant populations at a White House event on Cesar E. Chavez Day, March 31, 2014.

We are proud of Xavier’s recognitions, but are more inspired by his response. Immediately after receiving his honor at the White House, Xavier was back at his desk, quietly and rigorously researching and developing lesson plans for his next class. Congratulations Xavier, for your great work and commitment to your pledge to “strengthen our communities.”

Honorable Mentions for March: Anna Murphy, CARITAS; Sam Crawford, Carroll County Public Schools; Brandon Springer, Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries; Ashely Riddick, Heart of Compassion; Jessica Harlan and Kelce Lytle, Occupational Enterprises, Inc.; and Daniel Stokes, Virginia Commonwealth University.

Lindsay Laird
February 2014

Please join us in congratulating our February 2014 Virginia AmeriCorps Member of the Month, Lindsay Laird, who serves at Beans and Rice in Radford, Virginia. In addition to tutoring children and providing afterschool academic enrichment activities, Lindsay serves as the AmeriCorps team leader for weekend backpacks. In this role, Lindsay keeps weekly inventory records, plans weekly backpack menus, assists the program director with supply orders, and coordinates the weekly assembly and distribution processes. On an average week, AmeriCorps members provide 100 Radford school children with enough weekend food for two breakfasts, two lunches, and two snacks.

Lindsay has led several important changes to this year's program -- establishing a goal to improve the quality and quantity of non-perishable weekend meals. Three important changes Lindsay has implemented include:

  • Weekly inclusion of 2-4 fresh fruit items provided at no cost through USDA and Radford City Schools
  • Weekly inclusion of self-stable whole milk boxes purchased at discounted rates through Feeding America Southwest Virginia
  • Wholesale purchasing of some items through Radford City Schools distributor
  • Weekly inclusion of written menus

In February Lindsay's hard work was rewarded when Atmos Energy Foundation awarded the program a $1,200 grant. Lindsay had prepared and submitted the grant application in December. Thanks to Lindsay's efforts, the program secured funding to provide 300 weekend backpacks consisting of 1,200 meals and 600 snacks for 100 low-income children. From the changes made and the awarding of the grant, Lindsay’s efforts equates to over $7,000 of added value or savings annually! This means more children may be served in addition to more food provided per child. Thank you Lindsay, for your commitment to serving Radford’s children. We are proud to recognize you as February’s AmeriCorps Member of the Month.

Honorable Mentions for February: Monica Meharg, Alternatives, Inc; Katrina Benson, Arlington County Public Schools; Dachena Rucker, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lynchburg; Sarah Elmore, CARITAS; Jennifer Shockley, Carroll County Public Schools; Chelsea Cornwell, Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries; Brittany Crotts, Heart of Compassion Partnership; Megan Stuart, New River Community Action; Melissa Collingsworth, Occupational Enterprises, Inc.; Brian Nance, Rappahannock Goodwill Industries; Daniel Stokes, Virginia Commonwealth University; Fara Sloan, Virginia Department of Veterans Services; and RaShawnda Osborne, YWCA of South Hampton Roads.

Stephenie Trinity
January 2014

Congratulations to Stephenie Trinity, of Virginia Commonwealth University's AmeriCorps and America Reads program -- our January AmeriCorps Member of the Month. Since the beginning of Stephenie’s time at Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary, she has been working diligently with some of the students who have recently relocated to the U.S. with very little to no knowledge of the English language. She put her Spanish minor degree to perfect use by preparing and translating lessons in an ESL format, which has resulted in drastic improvements and progress among these students. At the start of the school year, 12 of the second grade students served by Stephenie were beginning with a pre-K reading level. But with her help and guidance, there is only one pre-K reader in this second grade class! Thank you Stephenie for using your skills and creativity to serve Richmond’s children and help them succeed. "I continue to believe that if children are given the necessary tools to succeed, they will succeed beyond their wildest dreams!" - David Vitter, U.S. Senator

Honorable Mentions for January: Patrick Baker, Alternatives, Inc.; Chaconious Stewart, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lynchburg; Ervin Simms, CARITAS; Devon Jennings-Lineberry, Carroll County Public Schools; Chase Rohan, Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries; David Williams, A.C.E.S City of Richmond; Brittany Crotts, Heart of Compassion Partnership, Inc.; Brian Fisher, New River Community Action; Matthew Seth Helmandollar, Occupational Enterprises, Inc.; and Leanna James - YWCA of South Hampton Roads.

Yolanda Earl
December 2013

Virginia AmeriCorps is proud to announce the Virginia AmeriCorps December Member of the Month, Yolanda Earl from Alternatives, Inc., PASS (Peninsula AmeriCorps Serve and Support). Yolanda is a third year, full time AmeriCorps member serving with PASS. In spite of the fact that she is unable to receive an educational award for her third term of full time service, she has asked to continue to serve because of her belief in the work Alternatives, Inc., is doing and because of her love of giving back to the children she serves. She inspires the other members on a daily basis, and is a prime example of what "selfless" means. Pictured Right: Yolanda with U.S. Congressman Rob Whitman, Virginia 1st District.

Recently, Yolanda has completed the facilitation of literacy programs for low proficiency readers, grades K-4. Because of her efforts, and those of her AmeriCorps team members, 66 teenagers were engaged as volunteers alongside AmeriCorps members -- reaching a total of 166 children struggling with reading. Yolanda and the other members have witnessed an improvement in the reading abilities of the children, but most importantly, witnessed in the children a newfound joy in books. Congratulations Yolanda! Thank you for the service you provide to the Commonwealth’s children.

Honorable Mentions for December: Stephen Vicoli, CARITAS; Patsy Frazier-Carroll County Public Schools; Meredith Nelson, Charlottes Abundant Life Ministries; Ciera Williams, Heart of Compassion; Amy Berry, Occupational Enterprises, Inc.; Mindy Mauldin, Rappahannock Goodwill Industries, Inc.; and Emily Loranger, Rectors and Visitors of the University of Virginia.

Carl Williamson
November 2013

Carl Williamson started as an AmeriCorps member with CARITAS in December 2012. He had been working as the transition peer mentor at the Healing Place and began his service as an Aftercare Specialist with CARITAS Works, a five week intensive job training program. Carl is currently a mentor and coach to those clients moving through the program. It came to his attention that CARITAS had lost the free phone service for the men in the program. Taking this project on, Carl demonstrated a significant amount of tenacity in working on this very complicated issue. He overcame numerous obstacles and persisted with the project until he worked out a solution. Today, CARITAS participants enjoy the privilege of a phone which is a necessity for obtaining and maintaining employment.

Carl also teaches and co-teaches several classes, including Communications, Leadership Compass, and Talent Card Sort. He has a natural gift for teaching and is working on continuing to develop these skills. Carl also provides a wide variety of support to the clients/program such as helping with writing resumes, doing interview prep, assisting with Mock Interview Day and the de-brief, and helping with computer classes. Thank you, Carl for your service to AmeriCorps and to your community!

Honorable Mentions for November: Tamika Jarvis, Alternatives, Inc.; Jessica Sarles, Arlington Public Schools; Aileen Holmes, Beans and Rice, Inc.; Ashley Gunter, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lynchburg; Lu-San Corbett, Carroll County Public Schools; Meredith Nelson, Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries; Stephany Guachmin Coyago, Greenbrier Learning Center; Ashley Riddick, Heart of Compassion Partnership; Shani Brown, Literacy Council; Megan Stewart, New River Community Action; Jessica Harlan, Occupational Enterprises, Inc.; Dominique Thomas, Rappahannock Goodwill Industries; Christine Quilpa, Rector and Visitors of University of Virginia; Hanna Brock, Virginia Commonwealth University; and Summer Naranjo, Virginia Department of Veterans Services.

Treatrous (Treat) Jackson
October 2013

Treatrous (Treat) Jackson is new to the CALM AmeriCorps team this program year, but in just over two months, she has definitely made an impression on the community she serves. Treat discovered CALM through her participation and graduation from their Family Individual Development Account (FIDA) classes. Through the education she gained in this class, the support of the ministry, and the matching funds Treat was able to attend college, purchase a home, and start her own business -- creating a much better life for herself over the last five years. She now has a desire to give back and support others through the program. Treat has faithfully met and pursued potential class participants sharing with them the benefits of the class. She has also helped serve the FIDA classes by providing transportation, arranging child care for parents in the class with young kids, and mentoring class participants.

Treat reflects on her first few weeks as an AmeriCorps members saying, “Being granted the opportunity to serve as a member of AmeriCorps has been a great experience. I have been fortunate to reap the benefits of the very program that I am lending my service too. FIDA is a program that allows me to give my actual testimony and give back. Approximately three years ago I was in the home buying process. This was an exciting yet scary endeavor to navigate through! I received my financial literacy through CALM and they assisted me with not just funding but also encouraged and supported me in my dream to become a home owner. Now as a member of AmeriCorps, I can now help others fulfill their dream no matter the dream. For many a home is not their passion -- it may be higher education or being an entrepreneur. The tools that we offer our FIDA participates are life tools that will help them for the rest of their lives.”

JC Morton
September 2013

Please join us in congratulating from Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries, JC Morton, September 2013 AmeriCorps Member of the Month! JC grew up and took part in many of the programs of the neighborhood he now serves. This unique perspective and ability to relate, gravitates the children JC serves toward his experience and leadership. This was evident when he gave a motivational pep talk to the 5th and 6th grade students on the first day of tutoring. The children were captivated by his successes, failures, mistakes and wisdom. He encouraged the children to dream and work towards those dreams which left them excited and motivated. JC, thank you for your commitment to national service and the impact you are making in your community.

Honorable Mention for September: Anna Murphy, CARITAS.

InterCorps CouncilThe Virginia InterCorps Council (VAIC) is a leadership team made up of AmeriCorps and other national service members from throughout the Commonwealth. The purpose is to connect and collaborate with members of programs statewide, share resources and promote leadership skills. VAIC provides a forum for service members to voice collective opinions and ideas. Representatives actively participate and help organize seasonal teleconference meetings, member-related activities, share input, and help organize training for members at statewide events. Get involved with the Virginia InterCorps Council - Be the VOICE for your Corps!

Virginia InterCorps Council FAQ

Who can be a part of the VAIC?

  • AmeriCorps State and National Direct members
  • AmeriCorps VISTA members (1-2 VAIC members per year)
  • Senior Corps members (1 member per year, only if applicable)

What are the benefits of being a VAIC member?

  • As a member, you'll join your peers in a statewide forum of leadership and getting things done.
  • VAIC is a place to gather, strategize, and assist with ideas for service projects, member training, and speakers for events and other peer-related activities.
  • As part of the VAIC, you'll lead and represent your Corps on member-related matters, hot topics and other ideas.
  • VAIC is the place to connect and network on matters that impact all national service members.

Be a part of Virginia's solution to keep AmeriCorps members engaged, motivated and inspired by participating on a council that supports members of national service. Contact OVCS to join the Virginia InterCorps Council.