Month: March 2016

LULAC Mentor Receives Award for Service

joemoralezJPGFor four years, Joe Moralez has been a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of the Mississippi Valley through a partnership with the local League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) chapter. Joe mentors a first generation American student, and has been able to encourage his mentee to set goals for the future, build self-esteem, pursue hobbies, and focus on academic achievement.

The desire to be a great adult role model has created a deep personal relationship between Joe and his mentee. He has demonstrated his passion for  youth advocacy and mentoring by sharing his experiences as a mentor in order to help with the BBBS 100 Days/100 Bigs recruitment campaign, where he was able to help a group of other mentors in his community recruit 106 new mentors in 100 days. Joe is a recipient of the 2016 Excellence in Mentoring Award, the most prestigious state honor a mentor can receive in the State of Iowa, and he will be honored at the State Capitol on April 13 during the Excellence in Mentoring Awards ceremony.

whatsyour50-BUG-final-high-resThank you for your service, Joe!

What’s your 50? For more information about the Governor’s Call to Service, and to find volunteer opportunities statewide, visit https://volunteeriowa.org/whats-your-50.

Can you nominate someone to be one of our 50 Faces of Volunteers? Fill out this quick spotlight form and help us recognize outstanding volunteers in Iowa: http://svy.mk/1RrvPhA

AmeriCorps Member of the Month March 2016

CBurt_AMOM.pngVolunteer Iowa is very proud to honor Charlotte Burt as the Iowa AmeriCorps Member of the Month for March 2016.

Charlotte is an AmeriCorps State member who serves with Des Moines Public Schools as an Elementary Literacy and Math Tutor at Downtown School and Phillips Elementary. She has accrued approximately 2,300 service hours over the past year and has supported hundreds of students.

While at DMPS, Charlotte has coordinated other AmeriCorps members in the community to help support several National Day of Service projects while encouraging staff at her site to volunteer with other organizations in the community. Now retired, Charlotte was a School Nurse Consultant for the Iowa Department of Education, and has a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Iowa, a Master of Arts from Mary Crest College, and a Master’s of Science and Nursing from Clarkson University. She regularly volunteers at the World Food Prize Hall, The Des Moines Preforming Arts Center, the American School Health Association and the national Association of School Nurse Consultants. Charlotte is completing her fourth and final term of service with AmeriCorps.

In recognition of her service, Charlotte will receive a certificate signed by Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds honoring her dedication and efforts towards bettering the State of Iowa.

Thank you for your service, Charlotte!

Help us tell the story of AmeriCorps in Iowa! You can nominate someone for AmeriCorps Member of the Month by filling out this short survey:http://ow.ly/X1uRp. Please share the link and help us recognize the AmeriCorps members who are getting things done for Iowa!

Elgin Teacher and Mentor Receives State Honor

AmberlinderbaumIn advance of the 2016 Excellence in Mentoring Awards Ceremony on April 13, we are taking the next few weeks to feature the honorees in our “50 Faces of Volunteers” recognition series. Mentors are incredible volunteers, and we are proud to highlight their commitment and dedication. This week, we want to share Amber Linderbaum’s story.

Amber has been a mentor for over four years with the Valley Mentoring Program in Elgin, Iowa. As a teacher, she is committed to education and youth development. Amber deeply understands the need for all students to have caring adults in their lives in order to help them navigate challenges and build positive life skills. Amber is a tireless advocate for youth mentoring, and is always recruiting for the program by providing information to youth mentees and inviting colleagues to serve as mentors.

Amber’s mentee is proud to tell people that she will be the first person in her family to graduate high school and attend college. She credits Amber for helping her with homework, setting ambitious goals, exploring career options, and touring college campuses. Amber’s passion and enthusiasm has reached beyond her mentee and the Valley Mentoring Program, she is truly a transformative force in her community. She influences the lives of her students, colleagues, and neighbors every day by setting an example of how an optimistic, caring, and committed role model can change the course of a person’s life. Amber will receive the 2016 Excellence in Mentoring Award, the most prestigious state honor a mentor can receive, at the State Capitol on April 13. The award will be presented by the Iowa Mentoring Partnership.

Thank you for your service, Amber!
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What’s your 50? For more information about the Governor’s Call to Service, and to find volunteer opportunities statewide, visit https://volunteeriowa.org/whats-your-50.

Can you nominate someone to be one of our 50 Faces of Volunteers? Fill out this quick spotlight form and help us recognize outstanding volunteers in Iowa: http://svy.mk/1RrvPhA

Cedar Rapids Mentor Helps Student Succeed

Husmancrop.jpgThis week we are honoring Jennifer Husmann of Center Junction, Iowa for her work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cedar Rapids and East Central Iowa as one of Iowa’s “50 Faces of Volunteers.” She is also a recipient of a 2016 Excellence in Mentoring Award, presented by the Iowa Mentoring Partnership.

Jennifer has been a Big with BBBS for over 13 years, and has dramatically improved the life of her mentee. Because of Jennifer and the BBBS program, her Little Sister was able to overcome feelings of social isolation, improve her self confidence, and continue to succeed academically at Kirkwood Community College. She has been accepted to the University of Iowa upon her graduation from Kirkwood.

According to Jennifer’s mentee, “Without Big Brothers Big Sisters and my Big, Jennifer, I could not have ever imagined being in the top fourth of my high school class, let alone even going to college! I hope every child has someone they can turn to that is a good listener, sweet, kind, and bubbly just like Jennifer.”

Jennifer is a passionate advocate for mentoring and service, and is involved with recruiting efforts to help new mentors and mentees enroll in the program. Thanks to her work as a volunteer, Jennifer has positively impacted the lives of many children and families across Iowa. As a recipient of 2016 Excellence in Mentoring Award, the most prestigious state honor a mentor can receive, she will be honored at the State Capitol on April 13 during the Excellence in Mentoring Awards ceremony.

Thank you for your service, Jennifer!

What’s your 50? For more information about the Governor’s Call to Service, and to find volunteer opportunities statewide, visithttps://volunteeriowa.org/whats-your-50.

Can you nominate someone to be one of our 50 Faces of Volunteers? Fill out this quick spotlight form and help us recognize outstanding volunteers in Iowa: http://svy.mk/1RrvPhA

Thank You to Our VISTA Service Members!

This week is AmeriCorps week, which means that all across the county, current and former AmeriCorps members and their host organizations are coming together to celebrate the many individuals who have chosen to serve their country and community. We would like to take the opportunity to thank our VISTA’s for all of the amazing work they do throughout the state of Iowa!

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The Volunteer Iowa VISTA project places VISTA members with host sites all over the state focusing on Education and Veteran’s initiatives. Our VISTA’s work to create an environment where veterans are able to transfer military service into successful employment and independence, and economically disadvantaged students are provided the opportunity to achieve academic and personal success using indirect service and capacity building. Volunteer Iowa host sites are nonprofit organizations, government agencies and schools that provide daily oversight and guidance to address the needs of the 20150827_161005communities they serve. They work with VISTA’s to ensure that they are doing meaningful work with their time and service.Volunteer Iowa is just one of many VISTA programs in the state, and is happy to add its strength in volunteerism to make a better state for our residents.

For more information about the VISTA positions currently available with Volunteer Iowa, please check here or contact Volunteer Iowa VISTA Leader Monica de Melo Dreasher at Monica.Dreasher@iowa.gov.

Thank you to all of the AmeriCorps members, past and present, who have made the commitment to serve. Happy AmeriCorps Week 2016!

For more information about AmeriCorps Week, be sure to check social media under #AmeriCorpsWorks and #AmeriCorpsWeek or http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorps-week

Waverly Pastor Mentors Local Youth

Erin Bird & Quinton SBP

This week, we’re excited to honor Erin Bird as one of Iowa’s “50 Faces of Volunteers” for the time and energy he has given to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa.

Erin has been matched with his Little Brother Quinton for just over 2 years and they meet both in and out of school for a few hours every week. They play games, do homework, visit the library, or get ice cream. As a mentor, Erin provides guidance and stability in Quinton’s life. He encourages and supports him, and stresses the importance of education, community, and being kind and considerate to others. Research shows that children who participate in BBBS programming are likely to experience an increase in self confidence, academic performance, and decision making ability, as well as increased positive relationships with peers and family members, and improved attendance at school.¹

As the pastor of Riverwood Church in Waverly, Erin became involved with volunteering after noticing a need in his community, and seeing the impact mentoring could have on a child’s life. He is an active advocate for mentoring and volunteering in Waverly and goes above and beyond to support his Little Brother, Quinton. Erin has four children and is married to his wife, Leann.

Thank you for your service, Erin!

  1. Tierney, J.P., Grossman, J.B., and Resch, N.L. (1995) Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures

What’s your 50? For more information about the Governor’s Call to Service, and to find volunteer opportunities statewide, visithttps://volunteeriowa.org/whats-your-50.

Can you nominate someone to be one of our 50 Faces of Volunteers? Fill out this quick spotlight form and help us recognize outstanding volunteers in Iowa: http://svy.mk/1RrvPhA