Mar 16, 2012

Americorps week Spotlight - Ty Williams

As part of AmeriCorps Week 2012, each day we’ve been spotlighting a service member or alum across the state, this week’s final spotlight is on Ty Williams.

Ty served with the L.E.A.P. program in Bridgeport and Public Allies CT. He was a senior youth counselor with L.E.A.P. and did an internship at Bridgeport Community Health as a Community Outreach worker. He also was an Assistant Case Manager for the Juvenile Review Board. “I liked the type of work that was being done in the community and I knew friends who were in the program and I saw the growth development personal and professional life,” Ty says. “My biggest accomplishment was completing the program, forming a lot of relationships with those I served, and served with in my community and how it continues to develop for me even after 3-4 years.” Ty says what he learned about himself and his community is priceless, and currently he’s involved in his community. He keeps busy mentoring youth, working with families to help their children get on the right track, performing community service projects and community organizing.

Way to go Ty – glad to hear about your service and thanks for everything you do for our communities!

Keep up the great work AmeriCorps Alums members across the state - and Happy AmeriCorps week!!

Mar 15, 2012

AmeriCorps Week Spotlight - Sharaya Smith

As part of AmeriCorps Week 2012, each day we’ll be spotlighting a service member or alum across the state! Today’s spotlight is on Sharaya Smith.

Sharaya served last year with Homes For The Brave as their Development Assistant and this year she’s serving as Volunteer Services Coordinator for the Bridgeport Public Library (her hometown). She decided to join AmeriCorps because of the possibility to working with a local non-profit organization while building leadership skills and earning money to continue her college education at the same time.

“One of my biggest accomplishments while serving was getting the chance to help promote and develop "Female Soldiers:Forgotten Heroes" the only program in the state dedicated to serving homeless female veterans, during my first year. Being a Vet myself, it was service that touched me in a much more personal way.”

Great stuff Sharaya – keep up the great work and thank you for your service!

Mar 14, 2012

AmeriCorps week Spotlight - Becca Constantine!

As part of AmeriCorps Week 2012, each day we’ll be spotlighting a service member or alum across the state! Today’s spotlight is on Becca Constantine!

Becca is the Connecticut Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA member in Fairfield University's Office of Service Learning. “I have the immense privilege of working with our amazingly dedicated and talented students to build meaningful partnerships with schools and other organizations in the greater Bridgeport community.” Becca says a highlight of her year has been helping develop a service-learning program that pairs service-learning students in English and Education classes with 1st and 2nd grade students at Cesar Batalla Elementary in Bridgeport. “The smiles on the children's faces after sharing a book with a Fairfield U. student are priceless!” she says.

Becca Also served in AmeriCorps NCCC in 2010 as a Corps member and Team Leader in the Atlantic Region, serving in Maryland, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Louisiana on environmental and disaster response & recovery projects, and shared this story with is - “One day, we were gutting two houses along a residential street in a quiet suburb. After spending hours pulling soggy insulation from under a very nice gentleman's floorboards, I went to check on how my other team members had spent their day. They had just finished their work and were gathered in the driveway chatting with the homeowner. When I approached, he turned to me and smiled broadly. He explained that he had started the day filled with skepticism, wondering how four young women (all were between 18 and 24) could possibly have the strength and tenacity to clean out his house in the wake of a life-upending disaster. They did, though, and had left his day and his world a bit brighter. "These girls," he announced, "are my heroes." He gave them each a big hug before we moved on to our next houses."

Becca has also coached swim teams, volunteered at an orphanage in Ghana and plans on pursuing a Master's degree in Education Policy and Leadership after her service year. “I hope to use the knowledge I gain during my studies to address issues of diversity in higher education enrollment and retention and to work toward the implementation of best-practice models for helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds succeed on college campuses."

Thanks for all you do Becca!! Great stuff!

Mar 13, 2012

Spotlight - Chad Davis

As part of AmeriCorps Week 2012, each day we’ll be spotlighting a service member or alum across the state! Today’s spotlight is on Chad Davis.

Chad served in a program in Meriden called CitySERVE! AmeriCorps for two separated years. One year he spent as a mentor to students in third grade at a local elementary school, tutoring students alongside teachers and a reading specialist. His second year he worked as an assistant to residential counselor at the Curtis Home.

"I was looking to get work experience and support to begin graduate school in teaching and the program caught my attention." Chad had also done the Peace Corps for two years and wanted a domestic program that resembled it.

Chad says he was able to gain confidence working with children and worked 60-hour weeks in order to fulfill his service agreement and earn the stipend. "I completed my hours and my group had a farewell party with a cake shaped liked Africa." Currently Chad is finishing a Teacher Certification in Special Education.

Thanks Chad - best of luck in the future!

Mar 12, 2012

AmeriCorps Week 2012 Spotlight on Jessica Callahan!

As part of AmeriCorps Week 2012, each day we’ll be spotlighting a service member or alum across the state! Today’s spotlight is on Jessica Callahan.

Jessica worked at Northwestern CT Area Health Education Center and helped to coordinate after school programs for disadvantaged youth in the Waterbury, CT. She utilized service learning to engage High School students through trainings and volunteer placements with local health care resources in the community. She decided to join AmeriCorps to help solidify her goals for the future, contribute positively to her community, and engage with her peers.

“One of my biggest accomplishments while serving was learning how to focus on myself and my dreams while helping others.” She says, using these skills after service on her way to obtaining a Bachelor's Degree in Urban and Community Studies at UConn. “I wouldn't have been as driven as I am now if it weren't for the constant motivation of my peers, and for the incredible feeling I had after completing our team service project, which was a community resource fair in Hartford, CT. Seeing the fruits of our labor was an incredible adrenaline rush, and made me want more!”

She continues to get things done through her job at a girls residential program near her hometown, by focusing on studies in order to graduate from college, and working on a model for a non-profit/community resource that she hopes to launch after graduation. “I am always talking to others about outreach, advocacy, and service learning and the impact it can have on their own community.”

Thanks for all you do Jessica, and have a great AmeriCorps week!

Mar 10, 2012

AmeriCorps Week gets kicked off with Service Project in Bridgeport!

AmeriCorps Week 2012 started today and CT Alums along with some Public Allies and friends and family all joined together to get things done!
Some quantifiables:

- 16 Garden beds prepped for spring planting at the Michelle Obama Community garden
- 15 garbage bags of leaves and such raked and cleared
- 1,500 books organized, sorted, labeled and arranged for community book sale

Don't forget, for all the latest info, service events and feedback join us on Facebook HERE, on Twitter HERE or email us AmeriCorpsAlumsCT @