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CHP Welcomes New AmeriCorps Members

The first week of October was an exciting time for CHP because it marked the arrival of 13 new AmeriCorps State members who will perform resident services work with the organization for an entire year. These motivated individuals have been placed at multifamily communities across CHP’s Virginia footprint and will coordinate programs for residents under the supervision of Resident Services Coordinators. This year, we have six returning members who have served with us before, a telling testament to their experience. Our current group of AmeriCorps members range from current graduate students and recent college graduates to parents of young children. They will work organizing programming such as after-school care, USDA food programs and community gardens, service-learning projects, community days, health fairs, and holiday events. The members listed below also have the ability to develop their own programming, allowing them to use their talents and skills to meet the specific needs of the community:

Alfreda Adams - Friendship Village
Bianca Phillips - Lafayette Village
Angereia Bridges - Warwick SRO
Aundrea Linzy - Cross Creek Apartments
Ashley Blanks - Yorktown Square/Rivermeade Apartments
Nicholia Byrd Mazell - Ansell Gardens
Courtney Shelton - Cross Creek Apartments
Destiny Westbrook - Lafayette Village
Genean Hines - Cross Creek Apartments
Meagan Umberger - Meadowview Apartments
Sirena Sharpe-Colley - Woods at Yorktown
Sharon Lawler - Blue Ridge Commons
Tashara Void - Friendship Village
Tanisha Washington - Woods at Yorktown
Zakiya Howell - Yorktown Square/Rivermeade Apartments

But before beginning their site work, the AmeriCorps state members first participated in a week-long training session in Richmond, Virginia. Held at the beautiful Maymont Park just outside of downtown, the members explored leadership training, improvisational games, and myriad character building exercises. A highlight of the event was when former AmeriCorps state member Scott Hale led a morning of group activities that illustrated some of the challenges to expect in the coming year. Drawing on his own experiences in the field, he emphasized the importance of using various communication styles and how to work with people of different backgrounds, as well as how to use personal experiences to think outside the box.   

According to CHP’s AmeriCorps Program Coordinator Jasmin Cotman, part of what makes the AmeriCorps state program so worthwhile is that participants have the opportunity to interact with residents and truly make a difference in their lives. “Our AmeriCorps team is able to get real-life hands-on experience helping individuals and families become healthier and stronger.  It’s an amazing program in that you often see AmeriCorps members and residents benefitting from the relationships that are developed,” said Cotman.