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March 7, 2016

Oswego AmeriCorps Members Recognized during AmeriCorps Week

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) will celebrate AmeriCorps Week across the nation from March 5 to 11.

In Oswego County, AmeriCorps is administered by the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau.

"AmeriCorps Week provides an opportunity to recognize AmeriCorps members in two local programs for their impact on Oswego County, and to thank our community partners who make AmeriCorps possible," said AmeriCorps program coordinator Kathy Andolina.

As a national service program, AmeriCorps addresses critical needs in local communities. Members in Oswego AmeriCorps serve youth by mentoring, providing fitness and nutrition activities, and managing volunteers. Members in Oswego Economic Development Corps serve economically disadvantaged individuals by providing housing services and financial literacy education.

Since 1997, more than 800 AmeriCorps members have served in Oswego County. Many AmeriCorps members find that serving in the program is so rewarding that they decide to serve for more than one term of service.

Heather Donath is serving her second term of service at Palermo Elementary School. AmeriCorps has impacted her life in many positive ways.

"It has helped me grow as a person and become healthier. I've made new friendships that I hope will last a lifetime. It has opened my eyes to needs in my community and it has been an honor serving at my site," said Donath. "It is such a wonderful and truly rewarding experience to know you are making a difference in a child's life. I'm so thankful for AmeriCorps and to be a part of such a wonderful organization."

DawnDaLee Baker-Doria is also in her second term of service, working with Heather at Palermo Elementary School. Before starting with AmeriCorps, DawnDaLee had been a stay-at-home mom for 11 years.

"AmeriCorps has given me the opportunity to get out of the house again, meet new people and feel like I am giving back to my community," said Baker-Doria. "The joy I feel when I see the excitement on the kids' faces at school seeing me every day is immeasurable. AmeriCorps has been such a rewarding experience for me, not only in helping me pursue a new career path but also in the network of new people I have been able to meet and in the pride I feel in myself and the new self-worth I have."

Members serving this program year in the Oswego County AmeriCorps Program are Carolyn Ahart, New Haven Elementary School; Katie Baker, Hannibal High School; DawnDaLee Baker-Doria, Palermo Elementary School; Christina Brown, Oswego Community Christian School; Evan Castelli, New Haven Elementary School; Georgia Davis, Mexico Elementary School; Dalton Dillingham, Hannibal High School; Heather Donath, Palermo Elementary School; Emma Donovan, Leighton Elementary School; Casey Fleming, Oswego Youth Court; Kristin Hadley, Leighton Elementary School; Lindsay Johnson, Oswego Community Christian School; Monica Kahler, Oswego Public Library; Melissa Knox-Algarin, Oswego Community Christian School; Martha Marshall, Wisdom Thinkers; Megan McClintock, Fulton CYO; Michelle Pawlenko, Fairgrieve Elementary School; Katherine Robinson, Leighton Elementary School; Yomara Vasquez, CITI Migrant Education Support and Tutorial; and Cindy Williams, Lanigan Elementary School.

Members serving this program year in the Oswego Economic Development Corps are Zunilda Elsner, Department of Social Services (DSS); Kristine Gillingham, Oswego County Opportunities (OCO); Sierra Maher, OCO; Valerie Mayer, DSS; Alaina Perkins, DSS; Melissa Schlosser, Catholic Charities; Michaela Smith, OCO; Sandra Waldron, OCO; and Barbarajean Wydner,DSS.

For more information on AmeriCorps programs in Oswego County, contact program coordinator Kathy Andolina at the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau at 349-3451 or 1-800-593-3200, ext. 3451 or go towww.oswegocounty.com/youth

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