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Alumni Agenda

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					  Illinois LeaderCorps Alumni Committee’s
                                                                                                         Vol. 1 Iss. 1
                                                                                                         June 2010
   Alumni Agenda
   Alumni Agenda
The mission of Illinois LeaderCorps is to connect
AmeriCorps Members and programs from across
Illinois, to facilitate planning of state, national and
global days of service, and promote continued
AmeriCorps alumni involvement.



 A Message from the President                                   2009-2010 LeaderCorps at Starved Rock State Park

                 Hello AmeriCorps Alumni,
                It is with great pleasure that I in-              A Message from the Chair
                troduce the inaugural issue of the
                Alumni Agenda. Allison Payne,            Greetings Alumni,
                LeaderCorps Vice President and
                                                         I am also pleased to introduce the inaugural
                Alumni Committee Chair, has
                                                         issue of the Alumni Agenda. In the following
                been hard at work with her Com-
                                                         pages, you will find information on Leader-
  mittee in order to devise a plan to better reach
                                                         Corps, AmeriCorps in Illinois and AmeriCorps
  those who have served before us and continue
                                                         alumni. I hope that this newsletter not only
  to dedicate their lives to service, AmeriCorps
                                                         provides you with information, but also serves
  alumni.
                                                         as a reminder of our commitment to service. If you haven’t
  As National AmeriCorps Week draws to a close           already visited serve.illinois.gov or serve.gov, please take a
  and most service years come to an end, current         moment to explore the thousands of ways to give back to
  AmeriCorps members are taking stock of their           your communities.
  experiences, and reflecting upon their year of
                                                         This newsletter would not have been completed without
  service. The 2009-2010 LeaderCorps members
                                                         the time and effort from the Alumni Committee and the
  recently took stock of their service year at our
                                                         other LeaderCorps Officers. I thank you all for assisting me
  end of the year retreat, held at Starved Rock
                                                         with this final project, so that we could complete the pro-
  State Park in Utica, IL. We prepared to transi-
                                                         gram year with one last hurrah. I wish all the AmeriCorps
  tion our organization to a new set of Leader-
                                                         alumni the best of luck, and I look forward to all that can
  Corps members, as many of our members will
                                                         be accomplished by the future Alumni Committee, as well
  soon become AmeriCorps alumni. We are cur-
                                                         as Illinois AmeriCorps alumni—23,000 strong and counting.
  rently searching for a way to engage and help
  current alumni stay involved with AmeriCorps           Yours in service,
  and provide them with meaningful service and
  professional opportunities. I encourage you to         Allison Payne
  share your knowledge and I am eager to hear            Illinois LeaderCorps,
  your service stories – please feel free to contact     Vice President and Alumni Committee Chair
  me at alex@schulerfoundation.org.                      Literacy Volunteers of Illinois,
  As AmeriCorps alumni, you have answered the            AmeriCorps Member
  call for service in your community, to contin-
  ue serving or to find new service opportunities
  please visit Serve Illinois (www.serve.illinois.gov)
  or Serve.gov (www.serve.gov).

  Sincerely,
  Alexandra Byrd
  Illinois LeaderCorps, President
  Scholar Coach, Schuler Scholar Program
 LeaderCorps is...
                                                                         ALL THINGS LEADERCORPS
 a member-organized council that
 connects AmeriCorps programs and
 acts as a liaison between members
 and the Serve Illinois Commission.


The Committees
Marketing and Outreach
The LeaderCorps Marketing and Outreach Committee has been hard                            LeaderCorps Officers
at work this year to improve communication between AmeriCorps
                                                                                                       President
programs throughout the state of Illinois. Through the creation of the
                                                                                                 Alexandra Byrd
LeaderCorps organization, programs have been linked together to
provide support, services, resources, partnerships and countless other                  Schuler Scholar Program
opportunities for one another. Through the Marketing and Outreach                  Vice President/Alumni Chair
Committee’s efforts LeaderCorps can facilitate that exchange and up-
                                                                                                  Allison Payne
hold communication within the organization. This year the Committee
                                                                                   Literacy Volunteers of Illinois
has created a Google Group and Facebook Group that has acted as
a data archival system for LeaderCorps – from documents to service                      National Days of Service
photos, these networks have allowed us to maintain information per-                                 Coordinator
taining to our service years and to disseminate information to our fel-
                                                                                                 Micaela Moran
low AmeriCorps members. The Marketing and Outreach Committee
                                                                                                    Project Yes!
also produces the LeaderCorps Link, LeaderCorps’ quarterly newsletter,
providing information about service projects and program updates to
AmeriCorps members. Next year, the Marketing and Outreach Commit-
tee hopes to continue to increase publicity surrounding national days of
service, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day and National AmeriCorps
Week, and help AmeriCorps programs utilize their local press. For more
information pertaining to the Marketing and Outreach Committee or to
read the LeaderCorps Link, please log onto the Serve Illinois website.
National Days of Service
The National Days of Service Committee has contributed greatly
throughout this service year. Micaela Moran, National Days of Service
Coordinator, has led the Committee to complete several initiatives and
projects. A major accomplishment was the work completed for Martin           Members at Starved Rock State Park receive
Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. The Committee assisted programs with        instruction for their visitor center beautifica-
planning, provided reflection exercises, and collected data for the          tion service project.
Serve Illinois Commission. Data from MLK Day was posted on the Serve
website. The Committee also was integral during National AmeriCorps          LeaderCorps convened for two
Week, during which the Committee organized and assisted with several         three-day conferences, once in the
recruitment fairs in the state of Illinois. The Committee ended the year     fall in Springfield and once in the
with a Service Cookbook, which includes information on past and on-          spring at Starved Rock State Park
going service projects.                                                      in Utica. During the conferences,
                                                                             members received leadership train-
Alumni
                                                                             ing, completed service projects
The purpose of the Alumni Committee is to positively network with Illinois
                                                                             and networked with other program
AmeriCorps alumni. Networking can be completed by using the Serve
                                                                             representatives.
Illinois database of AmeriCorps alumni to make contact, at least, once
per service year; interpreting survey data and/or collecting data; and
                                                                             Members also meet once a month
corresponding with other AmeriCorps Alumni organizations, such as
                                                                             during a conference call to discuss
AmeriCorps Alums and/or other State LeaderCorps Alumni Committees.
                                                                             upcoming events, committee plans
This year’s Committee utilized data that was collected by previous Alum-
                                                                             and Serve Illinois updates.
ni Committees to plan and organize this newsletter. The Committee has
worked hard to lay the groundwork for the success of subsequent Com-
mittees by updating the LeaderCorps Bylaws and creating a manual to
be passed on and updated by future Committee members.
                                                                                                                                2
  LeaderCorps Member
                                      visors, as well as great group of
  Special Projects:                   committed young people to cre-
  Violence Enders                     ate what is now known as the Vi-
                                      olence Enders. We meet once or
  by Patricia Crowell                 twice a week and discuss ways
                                      to involve more students and
On February 1st 2010, Violence        gain new members, all while pro-
Enders was born at Kennedy            moting peace.
Middle School. A group of stu-
dents, 6th, 7th and 8th graders,      We have only been operational           (left to right) Violence Enders Staff Advisors,
                                                                              Ms. Perrin and Jim Ambruoso. LeaderCorps
who were already involved in          for a few months, but we feel           member, Patricia Crowell.
a group called the KMS News           we are making a difference. We
Team, led by Mr. Jim Ambruoso,        have done many, many things to          they want to reach out to. Ms.
also became the school’s first        promote our group and peace at          Perrin, our other advisor is present
peace advocates. Kennedy              Kennedy. We have purchased a            at each and every meeting and
Middle School has had its share       button-making machine and pro-          makes sure all records are kept
of disruptive behaviors, which                                                with accuracy. Ms, Perrin is instru-
generate fights and create un-                                                mental in the forward movement
rest in the hallways. Kennedy is a                                            of our group.
beautiful Middle School located
in a rural setting on the Northwest                                           Our future plans are to grow
side of Rockford, Illinois. Kennedy                                           and plant seeds of hope at high
is one of the nicest buildings in                                             schools with our graduating 8th
District 205 to house our middle                                              graders. Our immediate future
students, but inside daily unrest     Violence Enders Awards Banquet          plans are to have a fabulous cel-
often becomes the norm.                                                       ebration with students, parents,
                                      duced buttons with our logo on it       siblings, advisors and special
As an AmeriCorps member, I am         and a tag line “Be violence free        guests, where we will honor our
affiliated with the Winnebago         like me.” We purchased uniform          short but successful year. We will
County Health Department that         shirts that have embroidered on         award prizes, give certificates,
serves as my Host Site. I am also     them “Violence Enders Kennedy           have a wonderful meal, give
the Chair of the Governance           Middle School” on one side and          honor where honor is due, all in
Team which is governing body          “Student Advisors” on the other.        the name of peace. This program
of The Violence Prevention Col-       The double use of the uniform           will continue to grow and suc-
laborative. As an AmeriCorps          shirts turned out to be brilliant, in   ceed, due to the commitment
member, I have been placed at         that the students stay in compli-       of our students, advisors, admin-
Kennedy Middle School to teach        ance with the school dress code,        istration, parents, AmeriCorps
The “Second Step” Anti-bully-         and, at the same time, send a           members and our local Health
ing program. As an addendum           message of peace and help to            Department. Together, we will
to this program, we were able         anyone who desires it. We have          continue to set examples of how
to use some grant monies and          a large story board with beautiful      to promote peace and live in a
the enthusiasm of two Adult Ad-       photos and relevant information         caring environment. We invite all
                                      for those who want to become a          who will to join us in our efforts, as
                                      part of the group. This story board     we make plans this summer for
                                      was created by one of our Advi-         an awesome 2010-2011 school
                                      sors, Mr. Ambruoso. His contribu-       year.
                                      tions have been the back bone
                                      for our group, with his computer        For information on Violence
                                      and technology expertise and            Enders, visit the Kennedy Middle
                                      knowledge of photography. Our           School website at http://webs.
                                      students also have photo busi-          rps205.com/schools/kennedy/
                                      ness cards to hand out to those


                                                                                                                                3
                                            Where are they now? Catching Up with AmeriCorps Alumni

                                        gestion of friends and, at the time,     certainly, a challenge in the under-
                                        she did not really know much about       served neighborhood in which she
                                        the program. She was working for a       worked. She discovered that despite
                                        local grocery store and willingly ad-    the efforts of her students and their
                                        mits that “I just needed money.” Dur-    families, the proverbial deck was of-
                                        ing her first service year, Sarah was    ten stacked decidedly against their
                                        placed at an elementary school and       favor. Still, Sarah maintains her de-
                                        assisted Kindergarten through 6th        sire to teach and will be completing
                                        grade teachers with teaching Learn-      a Masters in Education this year.
                                        ing Disabled (LD) students and read-
                                        ing programs. Little did she know that   As an alumnus, Sarah had some ad-
                                        what had started as a pragmatic          vice for members who are just start-
Sarah Buttimer                          pursuit of income would grow into a      ing their service year: flexibility is key;
Belleville AmeriCorps ‘07               three-year commitment (2004 -2007).      don’t give up; offer to help and be
                                        Sarah attributes her spark of interest   available; and keep promises to stu-
Some people know exactly what           to one particular moment. While          dents.
they want to do in life. For the vast   meeting the staff, Sarah caught a
majority of us, however, finding a      glimpse of the 5th grade teacher         Overall, Sarah calls her experience
profession often takes time and is      and was captivated by his rapport        “great” and continues to get things
complicated by unexpected twists        with his students. In other words, she   done for America.
and turns. Often, we find our call-     was hooked! Over time, she found
ing purely by accident. AmeriCorps      she really enjoyed the work and          -Submitted by Stephen Kielbasa,
Alumnus, Sarah Buttimer, found her      couldn’t help but develop a deep         Belleville AmeriCorps
calling in just such a manner.          desire to see every child succeed – a
Sarah joined AmeriCorps at the sug-     wonderful gift, a heavy burden and,




                                                                      Joseph Reid
                                                                      PCC Community Wellness Center ‘08
                                                                      LeaderCorps Alumni Chair ‘08
Guadalupe Silva
Jumpstart ‘08, ‘09                            AmeriCorps was where I first realized my passion for working with dis-
                                              advantaged populations. I gained immeasurable experience pro-
What attracted me to becoming an              viding outreach to at-risk individuals and families and was exposed
AmeriCorps member was the oppor-              to the importance of teamwork, solidarity, and leadership within a
tunity to work with children.                 healthcare facility while at PCC.

My best memories from my experi-              After my year of service, I accepted a position as a health educa-
ence with AmeriCorps is watching the          tor for a Chicago nonprofit respiratory organization. With this job, I
children achieve the confidence and           have been able to continue working with underserved populations
                                              for which the basic goals of self-empowerment and self-manage-
boost they need in order to be excit-
                                              ment, all established in AmeriCorps, continue to underlie everything I
ed about school and learning.
                                              do. Moreover, I’ve gained valuable experience working with a team
                                              in the fast-paced, dynamic environment of a hospital system, again,
My experience with AmeriCorps                 whose foundation was built during AmeriCorps.
made me seek out new opportunities
to help out in my community. It lead          In June, I am enrolling in a Masters Nursing program at Rush Univer-
me to get more involved with com-             sity.
munity issues.
                                              As a former Alumni Chair, I would like to see a continued push to en-
Since my term with AmeriCorps, I              gage former members to honor their pledge to continue service after
have been working with urban youth            AmeriCorps and perhaps the establishment of some type of mentor
on violence prevention.                       program that promotes interaction between current members and
                                              alumni.

                                                                                                                               4
   PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT:
   UIC AMERICORPS
   PROJECT MORE
   (MAKING OPPORTUNITIES
   FOR READING ENRICHMENT)



     Program Focus
     Family Literacy
     Adult Education
     Financial Literacy
     Early Childhood Resources




THE PROGRAM                                members provide the following:              on topics such as: computer skills
                                           - Financial literacy workshops for          (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), conflict
Program goals:                               Head Start Parents;                       resolution, civic reflection, citizen-
The Center for Literacy and Project        - Distribution of financial literacy re-    ship, cultural diversity, CPR, nutri-
MORE are committed to family lit-            sources to parents;                       tion, Life after Service, and others.
eracy and developing lifelong learn-       - Tutoring for multi-level adult learn-     Members who tutor receive addi-
ing skills for Head Start and child care     ers in GED classes;                       tional Adult Basic Education and
parents and strengthening Chicago’s        - Tutoring for parents in English as a      English as a Second Language
commitment to early childcare and            Second Language;                          training through the Literacy Works
education. The program promotes            - Computer literacy instruction;            organization.
children’s success in school and en-       - Family literacy workshops;
courages economic self-sufficiency         - Job training and skills development      Want to know MORE?
in families.                                 workshops for parents;
                                           - Guided access tours and early            Contact:
Population served:                           childhood resources for parents;         Ruby Camacho
Adults/parents 18+                         - Service projects in the community;       Program Coordinator
                                           - Support for parent enrollment, vol-      rcamac1@uic.edu
Program information:                         unteer recruitment, patron track-
UIC AmeriCorps Project MORE pro-             ing, and record keeping, and rec-        Project MORE
vides several programs to Head Start         ognition events for parents.             1040 W. Harrison #1223 (M/C 147)
parents at our six locations through-                                                 Chicago, IL 60607
out Chicago-area Head Start sites,         AmeriCorps training received:
such as: English as a Second Lan-          - Information session, telephone in-       312-355-4227
guage classes, GED classes and tu-           terview, three-day screening, pre-       http://www.uic.edu/educ/cfl/
toring, computer literacy courses,           AmeriCorps volunteer day at sites        americorps.html
financial literacy and family literacy       to learn in detail about the pro-
workshops.                                   gram sites, staff, and goals;
                                           - Orientation week covering Project
THE AMERICORPS YEAR OF SERVICE               MORE Member handbook and ac-
                                             tivities;
Current AmeriCorps members:                - Site specific on-going training on
17 full-time members (1700 hours); 10        member roles, duties (tutoring
minimum-time members (300 hours)             techniques, activities, etc.);
                                           - Weekly on-site team training meet-
During the year of service:                  ings;
Depending on site placement,               - Bi-weekly full-time corps trainings


                                                                                                                                5
  2010 Illinois LeaderCorps Programs
  & LeaderCorps Representatives

  ABC AmeriCorps | Christi Buttron
  Alternatives, Inc. | Chelsea Clammer
  American Red Cross | Megan McCarthy
  American Red Cross McHenry County | William Wetzel
  Asian Human Services | Jonathan Sung
  AUSL | Leah Guenther
  Belleville AmeriCorps | Stephen Kielbasa
  Big Brothers Big Sisters | Jaci Entwisle
  Boys & Girls Club of Central Illinois | Tiffany Williams
  CAAAELII | Sonya De La Torre
  Children’s Home Association of Illinois | Joy McFadden
  City Year Chicago | Kyle Mahoney                                           Find a Volunteer
  Cra-La-Wa Volunteers Probation, Inc. | Jessi Goff                          Opportunity in Illinois!
  F.O.R.U.M | Clyde Thomas
  Greater Chicago Food Depository | Brittany Potter
  Illinois Central College| Hong Rickett                                     Visit serve.illinois.gov, where
  Illinois Public Health Association | Patricia Crowell                      you’ll find over 60,000 volunteer
  Jumpstart | Lindsey Sturch                                                 opportunities. The Serve Illinois
  Land of Lincoln AmeriCorps | William Ryan                                  website is also host to a variety
  Lessie Bates | Rita Doublin                                                of volunteer resources:
  Literacy Volunteers of Illinois | Allison Payne
  Logan Square Neighborhood Association | Quiletta Jordan
  Lutheran Social Services of Illinois | Amanda McKenzie                     • AmeriCorps/National Service
  McHenry County | Miguel Solis                                                Information: http://www2.
  PCC Community Wellness Center | Jacob Smith                                  illinois.gov/serve/Pages/
  Peace Corps Fellows WIU | Jessica Wade                                       national_service.aspx
  Project MORE | Annaly Pardino
  Project Yes! | Micaela Moran
  Public Allies Chicago | Scott Spiegler                                     • Volunteerism Research and
  Schuler Scholar Program | Alex Byrd                                          Publications:
  Southeastern IL Juvenile Justice Council Project | April Hightshoe           http://www2.illinois.gov/
  Springfield Urban League, Inc. | Blake Johnson                               serve/Pages/Trends.aspx
  Urbana-Champaign Media Center | Jacob Barton
  West Suburban PADS | Shavora Steward
                                                                             • Statewide Volunteer
  Red = LeaderCorps Alumni Committee Member                                    Management Network:
  Alumni Committee Advisor | Shane Caterino, Director, AUSL                    http://www2.illinois.gov/
                                                                               serve/Pages/network.aspx

                                                                             • Related Nonprofit and
                                                                               Volunteerism Web Links:
                                                                               http://www2.illinois.gov/
AmeriCorps Alums is a network of over half a million AmeriCorps alum-          serve/Pages/links.aspx
ni. The benefits of joining include career resources and opportunities,
educational information—including how to use your Segal AmeriCorps           • Serve Illinois Calendar of
Education Award and where to find schools that match the award,
                                                                               Events:
free tax preparation, and how to become involved with action being
taken to eliminate the taxation of your Education Award.                       http://www2.illinois.gov/
                                                                               serve/Pages/calendar.aspx
If you are not already registered, you can register by visiting their web-
site. Once registered, you may join state and/or city Chapters. Chap-
ters provide information on networking events, service projects and
more.

For information on AmeriCorps Alums, visit www.americorpsalums.org.
                                                                                                                 6

				
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