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AmeriStories

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.” AmeriCorps members come from every corner of the country and all walks of life. Take look at this small sample of their stories and discover how they served -- and continue to serve -- in communities across the country.

Charles Adams - profile picture
Charles Adams
AmeriCorps | 1995 to 1996

Charles Adams began his service career with Public Allies in Washington, DC, in 1995 at the New Community After School Program. During this service, he noted that, “Unbeknownst to me, AmeriCorps would be my road map and my guide.”

Charles' experiences working with children through Public Allies led to a 20-year career as an educator in Brooklyn, NY, Philadelphia, and in Washington, DC, where he is now the head of the SEED Public Charter School.

Benjamin Blonder - profile picture
Benjamin Blonder
AmeriCorps | 2008 to 2009

Dr. Benjamin Blonder co-founded the University of Arizona’s Sky School, a residential science school that provides inquiry-based environmental education on a campus located in the heart of the Coronado National Forest. Because of his efforts, each year hundreds of K-12 students, primarily from Title I schools, are now able to conduct independent research while exploring the unique ecology, geology, and astronomy resources of the region. These experiences are key for inspiring and preparing a more diverse next generation of scientists and conservation leaders.

Benjamin’s vision for the Sky School was inspired by his AmeriCorps service in central Idaho at the McCall Outdoor Science School, a National Science Foundation-supported teaching fellowship in a Tucson public school, and his long-term volunteer leadership with the Sierra Club’s Inner City Outings program, which provides opportunities for urban youth to experience nature. He recently received his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona.

Christina Bodison - profile picture
Christina Bodison
AmeriCorps VISTA | 2013 to 2014

As Christina Bodison navigated a demanding course load at Howard University, the former biology major actively searched for ways to be of service to others.  First, she mentored high school students during an alternative spring break program in Detroit. Then, she researched HIV, AIDS, and the socioeconomic factors that bar access to health care. All of this compelled Christina to join the AmeriCorps VISTA program and the fight against poverty, and she is urging other to do the same.

“I was presented with so many opportunities that allowed me to see the importance of service,” she said. “I learned about giving back to the community I live in.”

As an AmeriCorps VISTA member and volunteer coordinator for the Baltimarket “Virtual Supermarket” Program, Christina found new ways to link residents to healthy and affordable food. Christina managed a team of community volunteers, known as neighborhood food advocates, who help shoppers with transportation challenges submit and pick up their orders. Through this Baltimore City Health Department initiative, she helped raise awareness about the link between poverty and health.

Blair Brettschneider - profile picture
Blair Brettschneider
AmeriCorps VISTA | 2010 to 2011

Blair Brettschneider didn’t plan on creating her own nonprofit. But something she imagined had never been done before. So Blair decided to make a change.

That’s when the 25-year-old launched what is now GirlForward, an organization that offers mentorship and educational opportunities for girls who have been uprooted from their war-torn countries. Blair credits her experience with the AmeriCorps VISTA program for exposing her to the plight of refugee youth and their families.

Blair served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member from 2010 to 2011. As part of her responsibilities, she completed fundraising development projects at RefugeeOne, a refugee resettlement agency in Chicago. 

GirlForward, a once modest enterprise, has now grown to one that has served more than 100 girls. In fact, the organization’s success prompted media giant CNN to name her one of its top 24 CNN Heroes for 2013.

Still, Blair’s newfound celebrity has not fully resonated yet.

“When I see people sitting in the office I think, ‘Wow this is an actual organization,’” Blair said. “I’m really proud of everything that we’ve done and I’m also really thankful for all of the support we’ve received.”

Jon Brito - profile picture
Jon Brito
AmeriCorps | 2010 to 2013

Jon Brito served three AmeriCorps terms with Kupu's Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps from 2008 to 2013, as a team member, team leader, and a year-long intern. During these terms, Jon engaged the local youth and community members on the rural island of Moloka'i in critical environmental community service and indigenous cultural practices. Jon's commitment to serving the island's land and people has helped protect and restore countless endangered native Hawaiian species and habitats, perpetuate native Hawaiian knowledge and culture, and has inspired other local youth and community members to take an active part in the conservation movement on Molokai. Currently, Jon is a fellow in Kupu's RISE Program, where he is finding ways to make agri-businesses more energy efficient. He is also completing the Electronic and Computer Engineering Technology Program at the University of Hawaii's Maui Campus.

Germain Castellanos - profile picture
Germain Castellanos
AmeriCorps | 2004 to 2005

Germain Castellanos served in AmeriCorps as a Youth Developer with the Youth Conservation Corps in Waukegan, IL, where he was honored with the title of AmeriCorps Member of the Year in 2005. He has served since 2008 as Program Director for the SHINE Educational Leadership Program, a workforce development program serving over 300 at-risk youth at Waukegan High School—where the student population is more than 70 percent Latino. Germain’s transition from being a recipient of services to a provider of services for at-risk youth earned him the Illinois Governor’s Journey Award in 2008. The son of immigrants from Mexico, Germain also works to create change and opportunity for the residents of his hometown of Waukegan by serving as Vice President of the Habitat for Humanity Lake County Board of Directors; Program Chair and Member of the Board of Directors for Youth Conservation Corps; and as Member of the Lake County Workforce Investment Board’s Youth Council.

Jorell “Joey” Diaz - profile picture
Jorell “Joey” Diaz
AmeriCorps | 2012 to 2014

Jorell “Joey” Diaz was born in 1991 into an unstable household. He was adopted by his grandparents, whom he lost at the young age of eight. Joey then entered the foster care system in the South Bronx, joining a house of eight children. During his freshman year of high school, he dropped out of school along with his foster brother, who had become his best friend. One day while Joey was skipping school, he witnessed his foster brother die from a stray bullet. This devastating experience motivated him to re-enroll in high school and graduate on time. Joey got a full scholarship to attend Trinity College in Hartford, CT, and graduated in 2013 with a degree in Education and Urban Studies. Putting his degree to use, Joey joined City Year New York in the summer of 2013. He served as an AmeriCorps member at PS/MS 57 in East Harlem, NY, where he partnered with teachers to help keep students in school and on track to succeed. After completing his first service year, Joey returned to City Year as a Senior AmeriCorps Member and Team Leader at the same school, where he continues to serve today.

John Fetterman - profile picture
John Fetterman
AmeriCorps | 1995 to 1997

John Fetterman was attracted to Braddock, PA, by the town's tragic arc of history and malignant beauty. Founded around the site of Andrew Carnegie's first steel mill, Braddock's fortunes declined in lockstep with the American steel industry. As the town's population fell from a peak of more than 20,000 to just 2,300, its buildings, infrastructure, and economy unraveled. With 90 percent of everything lost – population, buildings, homes, and businesses – the challenges seemed insurmountable. John, an AmeriCorps alumnus and Harvard graduate with a Master's Degree in Public Policy, moved to Braddock in 2001.

Four years later John became the town's mayor – winning the election by a single vote  –  and has been at the forefront of a massive effort to revitalize the once- prosperous town ever since. In 2009, John won a second term by nearly a 3-to-1 margin. A relentless advocate for reimagining and redesigning Braddock, Mayor Fetterman's focus on creating safer a safer, most just Braddock, youth-oriented programs, attracting artists and other “creatives" to his community and to pursuing green urban renewal and economic development have been recognized in The New York Times, The Atlantic and The Guardian, and on CNBC, CNN, CBS News, “The Colbert Report” and “Real Time with Bill Maher.” In 2012, John was honored as a Champion of Change during AmeriCorps Alums Day at the White House.

Ely Flores - profile picture
Ely Flores
AmeriCorps |

My story is common for a child raised in a single-parent household in an under-resourced and disenfranchised community. My father abandoned my family when I was young and, in my neighborhood, young offenders were more often sent to prison than to rehabilitation programs. I grew up in south Hollywood and South Central Los Angeles. Lacking a steady home life, I took to the streets and found violence as the only way to face my daily problems. My gang lifestyle eventually led to incarceration. I was in and out of prison for four years, until I realized that staying out of the penal system for good meant making profound changes in my life.

It is deeply important for youth who are in the challenging situation I once faced – being out of school and out of work – to know that there are organizations and individuals in every community that care about providing support needed to lead a life of success and integrity.  For me, this support came through two AmeriCorps programs: LA CAUSA YouthBuild and Public Allies.

LA CAUSA YouthBuild came into my life at age 17 when I was still in prison and about to become a father. The people at YouthBuild introduced me to self-accountability as I struggled to experience a positive transformation. They didn’t define me according to past crimes, but rather, embraced me with acceptance and trust. 

My development was by no means a quick process. I needed a safe space in which to grow and make mistakes. I needed time to develop confidence and self-awareness. Without the support of a role model and mentor, I could not have taken the steps necessary to improve my life. My YouthBuild program director, Alejandro Covarrubias, spoke to us on our level—he knew how to gain our trust and respect. Alejandro became a friend and a mentor to all of the young people in my cohort. He was never the “director” or the decision-maker – he was just another human being connecting with us.

My time with Public Allies allowed me to see others who looked like me and were taking on the challenge of getting an education and developing leadership skills. They inspired me to do the same. AmeriCorps members helped me to understand that I had a voice that could be used to engage public leaders and pursue change.  It was the positive influence of my peers that helped me turn my ideas into transformative social action including providing affordable housing for homeless and low-income people in my community.

Today, I am an activist. I have a passion for community organizing and providing youth with leadership development opportunities. I believe in solution-based social justice.  One of my contributions has been founding Leadership through Empowerment, Action and Dialogue (LEAD) in Los Angeles, California, which has trained more than 200 underresourced youth in legal education, social justice, and community activism.

There are many people who tell youth, “You are the future.” While I believe in empowering youth, I don’t believe this is the right message.  I believe that we are the now—not just the future. We need only one person to believe in us and show us the way. There are others like me who want to be a part of the community and contribute to it in positive ways.

I once heard that “Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are – precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way.” I live my life encouraging others to learn from their mistakes and to approach situations with the solution-oriented spirit that helped me get off the track of violence and crime, and into a life of public service.

My path is a testament to the notion that it’s possible to turn your life around if you’re given the chance.  I live to make sure that others have the same opportunity.

Ely Flores is President of Leadership Through Empowerment Action And Dialogue Inc. in Commerce, CA.

Noelle Ito - profile picture
Noelle Ito
AmeriCorps | 2001 to 2002

Noelle Ito served as an AmeriCorps National Youth Project Fellow from 2001-2002. She completed 900 hours of service at New Community After School and Advocacy Program and participated in weekly leadership trainings through the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.

Noelle currently serves as the Director of Community Philanthropy at Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), a national membership and philanthropic advocacy organization dedicated to advancing philanthropy and Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. In her role at AAPIP, Noelle is shepherding AAPIP’s five-year Giving Circle Campaign to develop 50 giving circles and launch a national giving circle movement to build democratic philanthropy. In 2012, she was honored as a Champion of Change during AmeriCorps Alums Day at the White House.

Rebecca Lange - profile picture
Rebecca Lange
AmeriCorps NCCC | 1995 to 1996

Rebecca Lange is currently the Deputy Legislative Assistant at the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She is also a proud alumna of AmeriCorps NCCC's second class. She served at the Central Region campus in Denver, CO, from 1995-1996, and currently serves on the board of the Washington, DC, chapter of AmeriCorps Alums.

She is currently a Major in the U.S. Air Force, and explains her transition from AmeriCorps to the military was a natural one. Four years after her AmeriCorps experience, she graduated from the University of Colorado – thanks in large part to her Segal AmeriCorps Education Award – and was commissioned to the U.S. Air Force as a second lieutenant.

From building houses with Habitat for Humanity, to building trails with AmeriCorps NCCC, to tours in Iraq and Afghanistan -- Rebecca says, "It's all about service. It's the pride in knowing your country needs you and has trained you to answer its call. And in a small, small way, you know you are giving back to the country that allowed you to grow up in freedom."

Seth Marbin - profile picture
Seth Marbin
AmeriCorps | 1996 to 1999

As a Program Manager on Google’s Social Responsibility Team, Seth Marbin helps encourage and enable employees to use their skills, talents, and resources to have an extraordinary impact on the world through service and philanthropy. He joined Google after five years in the social sector – first as a three-time AmeriCorps member, then as a founder of City Year New Hampshire. 

Seth was selected as a First Movers Fellow with the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program and served on the steering committee of CaliforniaVolunteers Business Partner Program. He founded and maintains Teampedia.net, a free, collaborative encyclopedia of team-building activities and ice breakers. Seth also sits on the National Advisory Council of AmeriCorps Alums, and was honored as a White House Champion of Change in 2012 during AmeriCorps Alums Day at the White House. He graduated from Brown University, where he studied the intersection of public and private sector organizations and social entrepreneurship. Seth lives in Alameda, CA, with his wife Jyothi, daughter Kaia, and son Jahan.

Marissa Mikoy - profile picture
Marissa Mikoy
AmeriCorps VISTA |

Marissa Castro Mikoy began her post-college career as an AmeriCorps VISTA member for the nonprofit University Settlement in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  After her time in New York, she returned to her home state of Texas and led an Even Start Family Literacy Program for under-resourced families in West Dallas. The program focused on arming parents with the skills and knowledge to not only to be their child’s first and most important teacher in life, but to also propel their own education by way of attaining their GED and gaining access to college or a trade.

Marissa then went to work with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and raised more than $1 million on behalf of hundreds of different local, state, and national nonprofits through the State Employee Charitable Campaign and the Dallas City Charitable Campaign. She then moved to Washington, DC, and went to work for First Book, a national literacy nonprofit that provides free books to schools and nonprofits throughout the United States.

Wanting to return to making more of a “direct impact,” Marissa went to work for the DC community organization CentroNia where she was the founding Director of a bilingual early childhood satellite location for more than 100 under-resourced families. After leading that program for four years, she went to work for the DC Public Charter School Board and served as an early childhood specialist and oversight officer for DC Public Charter Schools.

Marissa has returned to Texas and serves as the Director of Operations and Evaluation for the Teaching Trust, an education reform, principal preparation nonprofit. She lives in Richardson, Texas, with her husband Chris and 2-year-old son, Xavier. In 2012, Marissa was honored as a Champion of Change during AmeriCorps Alums Day at the White House.

Earl Millett Jr. - profile picture
Earl Millett Jr.
AmeriCorps | 2000 to 2001

Earl Millet Jr. began his career in service in 2000 when he joined AmeriCorps as a full-time member serving with Volunteer Maryland. He worked to establish a formal volunteer program at Garden Harvest, a Maryland organic farm that donates its produce to soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Earl began a second full-time term with Volunteer Maryland in 2001, mentoring 12 new AmeriCorps members and helping them establish volunteer programs at small nonprofit organizations.

He served as an Environment/Forestry Volunteer in Ecuador from 2003-2005 and as a Crisis Corps (now Peace Corps Response) volunteer in New Orleans in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Early in 2006, Earl joined Civic Works as a Volunteer Coordinator, helping others benefit from the opportunities he enjoyed serving in AmeriCorps. Since then, he has worked to develop new programs and acquire new funding, expanding Civic Works’ capacity in volunteers and clients served. Earl currently directs several programs, handling management of supervisors and administration of budgets. He stays involved on a day-to day-basis talking to prospective AmeriCorps members to determine their best fit, and as a resource for all Civic Works members during and after service.

Tim Morehouse - profile picture
Tim Morehouse
AmeriCorps | 2000 to 2002

Tim Morehouse is a New York City native and AmeriCorps Teach for America alum who served as a 7th-grade teacher at Intermediate School 90 in Washington Heights, Manhattan, from 2000-2003. He worked at the organization in New York City from 2004-2008, where he trained and mentored teachers working in the East Bronx.

Tim is an Olympic silver medalist in fencing two-time individual U.S. National Champion, seven-time world cup medalist, and was the No.1-ranked U.S. men's saber fencer from 2008-2011. He is a three-time Olympic team member and most recently finished 8th at the London Olympic Games. Tim is unique in that he worked full-time while pursuing his Olympic dream.

After the 2008 Olympics, Tim worked to promote the sport of fencing and established programs to attract new participants to the sport. As a motivational speaker, he has spoken to more than  30,000 children and young people in urban schools about his Olympic story. He has also given presentations to Fortune 100 and 500 organizations. He was the youngest recipient of Brandeis University's Alumni Achievement Award in 2010 for his achievements as an athlete and his work with Teach For America, and he was named by Fast Company as one of the most influential alumni of Teach For America.

In 2011, Tim founded the Fencing-in-the-Schools foundation – a non-profit program dedicated to bringing the sport of fencing to under-served communities throughout the country. He is the author of the book, "American Fencer: Modern Lessons from an Ancient Sport" (2012), in which he shares experiences as an Olympic athlete and teacher. In 2012, Tim was honored as a Champion of Change during AmeriCorps Alums Day at the White House.

Delores Morton - profile picture
Delores Morton
AmeriCorps | 1995

Delores Morton began her career in the voluntary sector in 1995 as an AmeriCorps member in her home community of St. Mary Parish, LA. She currently serves as the president of Points of Light’s Programs Division where she is responsible for developing program initiatives and models to address the organizations core impact areas – education, economy, environment, emergency response and preparedness, and veterans and military families.

Prior to joining to Points of Light, Delores served as the Director of the Center for Nonprofit Resources at Volunteer Baton Rouge, Executive Director of the Louisiana Association for Community Economic Development, and the Chair of the Mid South Collaborative for Nonprofit Development. In 2012, Delores was honored as a Champion of Change during AmeriCorps Alums Day at the White House.

Xavier Munoz - profile picture
Xavier Munoz
AmeriCorps | 2012 to 2014

As an AmeriCorps member with the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, Xavier Munoz has been teaching English to adult immigrants and refugees in family literacy and beginning-level ESOL classes since September 2012. In addition to teaching full-time, he leads a staff task force to compile and design an online collection of instructional resources suitable for use by learners with low levels of English language proficiency.

Raised in Tampa, FL, and the younger son of two naturalized immigrants, Xavier has a B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University and plans to pursue an M.A. in TESOL in the near future. He started in adult education as a volunteer literacy tutor with I CAN Community Education Coalition in Tampa and came to Northern Virginia to foster that budding interest. He credits the adults in his classes and his experience serving with AmeriCorps for giving direction to his future and takes to heart the mission of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia to empower adults through English language instruction to “participate more fully and confidently in their communities.” Although advancing from point A to point B comes from the students themselves, being a part of their journey convinces him of a teacher’s potential to be a catalyst for change.

Monica Owens - profile picture
Monica Owens
AmeriCorps NCCC | 2005 to 2006

Monica Owens was serving in AmeriCorps NCCC when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. After her AmeriCorps service ended, she wanted to continue to serve—so she moved to South Mississippi to work with the Red Cross in hurricane recovery, starting as a case manager who worked to help families get back into their homes.

Now the Warner Robins, GA, native is a Community Resilience Coordinator for the Red Cross in South Mississippi, pilot testing a new strategy for the Red Cross to build resilience at the community level by leveraging and connecting community networks. Monica has brought together diverse community stakeholders and leaders to take action around significant risks and vulnerabilities: for example, Monica helped bridge cultural barriers between first responders and non-English speaking populations, resulting in better communication when home fires and other emergencies strike.

Dwight Owens - profile picture
Dwight Owens
AmeriCorps | 2008 to 2010

Nine years ago, Dwight Owens was cruising down the road to success. He was a teacher and a football coach and was only 23 years old. Dwight's plans came to a screeching halt on Highway 84 in Collins, Mississippi, when he was hit by a drunk driver. After going into cardiac arrest as a result of suffering several life-threatening injuries, he was on life support for 48 hours. When Dwight woke up, he was permanently paralyzed and expected to die. Dwight did not die.

Instead, he fought through months of rehabilitation and gained back basic functions and independence. Then, Dwight dedicated the life he had almost lost to serving others. He served for two year as an AmeriCorps members with Project LINC (Linking Individuals Into Neighborhoods and Communities) in Mississippi.

As an AmeriCorps member, Dwight provided peer support to more than 1,200 individuals with disabilities. He completed 48 site surveys to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities and provided more than 300 life skills training sessions to increase independence for Mississippians with disabilities. He also helped many individuals transition from public institutions to their own homes, and started a “Men with Disabilities” support group encouraging independence and leadership. As a result of Dwight's AmeriCorps service, many Mississippians with disabilities are active, productive members of their communities.

Dwight says that AmeriCorps increased his self-confidence and taught him he could inspire others through his own struggle for independence. Since his accident, Dwight has used his teaching experience to conduct many presentations in schools, churches, and prisons to discourage drinking and driving.  Reflecting on his national service experience, Dwight says, “You can’t help but feel good when you are helping other people smile.” Dwight was named a 2010 Spirit of Service Award winner by the Corporation for National and Community Service. 

Shonak Patel - profile picture
Shonak Patel
AmeriCorps | 2009 to 2010

Shonak Patel served with AmeriCorps in 2009 with the Louisiana Delta Service Corps as the Finance and Development Fellow with the New Orleans Neighborhood Development Collaborative (NONDC) in New Orleans, LA. He currently works as the co-founder of Gather Education, a virtual classroom platform that makes teaching and learning on-line simple, natural, and more accessible to all.

Prior to Gather Education, Shonak was CEO and Co-Founder of Swellr, a finalist in the 2011 MassChallenge start-up competition and accelerator. He graduated with honors from Babson College in 2006 with a concentration in Finance. In 2012, Shonak was honored as a Champion of Change during AmeriCorps Alums Day at the White House.

Macon Phillips - profile picture
Macon Phillips
AmeriCorps VISTA | 2001 to 2002

Macon Phillips is a proud AmeriCorps VISTA alumnus who currently serves as the Coordinator of International Information Programs at the U.S. Department of State. He formerly served as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Digital Strategy at the White House, where he developed and managed the Obama Administration's online program, including WhiteHouse.gov.

Prior to the White House, Macon ran the new media program for the Presidential Transition Team (Change.gov) and served as the Deputy Director of the Obama campaign's new media department (BarackObama.com). Before the campaign, Macon led Blue State Digital's strategy practice, working with clients like the Democratic National Committee and Sen. Ted Kennedy. The Huntsville, AL, native is a graduate of Duke University.

Christine Riley - profile picture
Christine Riley
AmeriCorps | 1995 to 1996

Christine Riley joined national service in 1995 as a member of the AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program, working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence. She was then selected to participate in AmeriCorps Leaders Program in Baton Rouge, LA.

Christine has 18 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, cause branding, community relations, strategic philanthropy, and corporate social responsibility. As the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Dunkin’ Brands, she leads The Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation as well as sustainable business practices company-wide. Prior to joining Dunkin’ Brands, Christine was the Director of Business Development at Cone, a brand strategy and communications consultancy where she worked with clients to develop integrated marketing campaigns that benefit businesses, nonprofits and communities. Christine has previously worked at the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, JFK School of Government, Harvard University, and with Jumpstart for Young Children. She currently serves on the Jimmy Fund Visiting Committee for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. In 2012, Christine was honored as a Champion of Change during AmeriCorps Alums Day at the White House.

Morgan Tracey - profile picture
Morgan Tracey
AmeriCorps NCCC | 2003 to 2004

Morgan Tracey is a Champion, Ohio, native who served in AmeriCorps NCCC after graduating from Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA.  As a corps member, Morgan built homes for low-income families in Blythe, CA. She also worked within the community on fire safety with the United States Forest Service in Pollock Pines, CA. While in Astoria, OR, Morgan and her team worked with Clatsop Community Action to restore a historic building for community use and with the local food bank. Morgan also prepared taxes for the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program in Phoenix, AZ, and with the Boys and Girls Club in Pasadena, CA.

After AmeriCorps Morgan spent summers working with the Forest Service as a wildland firefighter and a senior firefighter on the Eldorado Interagency Hotshot Crew. In the winters, Morgan went to law school and in 2010 passed the bar exam. Currently, Morgan is part of the United States National Skeleton Program training at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid with her sights on 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. In 2012, Morgan was honored as a Champion of Change during AmeriCorps Alums Day at the White House.

Nicole Trimble - profile picture
Nicole Trimble
AmeriCorps |

Nicole Trimble is the Director of Corporate Responsibility at Coinstar Inc. She is responsible for developing and supporting the company’s community engagement, philanthropy and environmental sustainability initiatives while working to encourage “innovation for good.” Nicole is a visionary leader with diverse experiences in the national service, nonprofit and philanthropy arenas including working for Casey Family Programs and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She is a Social Venture Partner and the Chair of the Washington State Commission for National and Community Service.

Nicole lives in Seattle, WA, and is the mother of two young sons who she hopes will serve their country someday. In 2012, she was honored as a Champion of Change during AmeriCorps Alums Day at the White House.

Rhonda Ulmer - profile picture
Rhonda Ulmer
AmeriCorps | 2004 to 2007

Rhonda Ulmer served in AmeriCorps from 2004-2007 at Volunteer Maryland, where she helped launch the Van Bokkelen Family Network, a program that provides local community resources such as GED, health, and housing education to children’s parents. After her term of service, Ulmer was awarded the 2008 Eli J. Segal AmeriCorps Alums Entrepreneurship Award -- AmeriCorps Alums' highest honor.

With the award, she founded University for Parents (UfP), where she is currently the Founding Director. UfP is a community organization that provides parents with the tools and resources to help their children succeed in school. In 2012, Rhonda was honored as a Champion of Change during AmeriCorps Alums Day at the White House.

Sharon Wagner - profile picture
Sharon Wagner
AmeriCorps NCCC | 1999 to 2000

Sharon Wagner was an AmeriCorps NCCC member stationed in Charleston, SC, from 1999-2000 where her team completed seven projects in the areas of education, the environment, and unmet human needs throughout the southeastern United States. She also worked as an environmental technician and middle school Science teacher in San Diego, CA, and a high school Environmental Systems teacher in Quito, Ecuador.

Dr. Wagner is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Economics at the University of Maine. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a California Single Subject Teaching Credential for Chemistry from National University, and a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Her research focuses on the environmental, social, and economic implications of energy decisions, with a main focus on solar energy solutions, and she teaches courses in sustainable energy economics and policy. In 2012, Sharon was honored as a Champion of Change during AmeriCorps Alums Day at the White House.

Amanda Washington - profile picture
Amanda Washington
AmeriCorps | 2009 to 2011

Armed with a degree from Spelman College and the institution’s motto “a choice to change the world,” Amanda Washington set out to do just that by serving as an AmeriCorps member with Teach for America. With doctors and lawyers in her family line, Amanda —the great-great-granddaughter of Booker T. Washington—yearned to chart her own course in the field of education.

After being accepted as an AmeriCorps member in 2009, she embarked on her first teaching experience at a public high school in Philadelphia. This experience prepared Washington for her next teaching role in Washington, DC. While teaching English as a second language at DC Prep charter school, she helped many students overcome their language barriers.

Now Amanda uses the lessons she learned in AmeriCorps in her current endeavor as a graduate student at Columbia University’s Teachers College.  And this summer, she is serving as a graduate student intern with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

“My experience as an AmeriCorps member helped me realize that education is not just about lesson plans,” Amanda said.

Tyler Wright - profile picture
Tyler Wright
AmeriCorps VISTA | 2013 to 2014

As a hospital corpsman who constructed facial prosthetics in the U.S. Navy, Tyler Wright helped wounded, ill, and injured service members reclaim a part of their identities that was lost during their journeys abroad. When he returned to civilian life last year, Tyler looked for something that would aid his own reentrance to his community. Less than 15 days after leaving the Navy, AmeriCorps VISTA offered him the type of opportunity he had imagined.

As an outreach and communications coordinator with Student Veterans of America, Wright connects nearly 1,000 veterans-focused student organizations across the country to grant and funding sources. This effort ultimately helps strengthen these organizations so they can serve more former service members.

Tyler is certain that his commitment to service will not end with AmeriCorps VISTA. With future plans to pursue biomedical research and teaching in higher education, Tyler is currently in a master’s degree program in therapeutic herbalism: the study of the properties of plant medicine.

“As I help out other vets, I learn more about myself,” said Tyler. “It just seems like it was somehow planned out that way for me to be here and I’m very thankful for it.”

Tiffany Zapico - profile picture
Tiffany Zapico
AmeriCorps NCCC | 2006 to 2008

Tiffany Zapico is a native of New Jersey and graduate of Montclair State University. She started her national service journey in 2006 when she served as a Corps Member and then Team Leader for the AmeriCorps NCCC at the Pacific Region Campus. Tiffany followed that with another AmeriCorps term of service as a teacher with Teach For America in New Orleans, LA.

In 2011, Tiffany became a part of the inaugural team that launched Reading Partners New York.  In her current role as Senior Program Manager she recruits, hires, and manages AmeriCorps members and oversees Reading Partners reading centers at school sites throughout New York City.  She also engages volunteers and works closely with teachers and school leaders to ensure students receive the absolute best service from Reading Partners.

Tiffany continues to be an active AmeriCorps Alumni.  She serves as the founder and Co-Chair of the AmeriCorps NCCC Alumni Leadership Council, supporting the NYC Alumni Chapter, and is also a former Serve Next Community Organizer.  When she is not busy still "getting things done," Tiffany enjoys road trips, hiking, cooking, and reading.

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AmeriCorpsImpact

More than 900,000 Americans have served more than 1 billion hours over the past 20 years. Thousands of communities and millions of Americans have benefited from their service. See how AmeriCorps has made a difference.

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AmeriMoments

We’ve come a long way in 20 years. Take a look at how we got here as we prepare for the next twenty. Scroll through the slideshow below to see some of the top AmeriCorps milestones.

AmeriCorpsPledge

AmeriCorps members take this inspiring pledge as they begin their service journey. This commitment energizes their AmeriCorps service and lasts throughout their lives. Do you want to make our country stronger? Just change the words “AmeriCorps member” to “American” – and live the pledge!

I will get things done for America - to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier.
I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities.
Faced with apathy, I will take action.
Faced with conflict, I will seek common ground.
Faced with adversity, I will persevere.
I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond.
I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will get things done.