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March 6, 2017

Members Recognized during AmeriCorps Week --

AmeriCorps Members Have Served Oswego County for Two Decades

OSWEGO COUNTY - Since 1997, more than 870 AmeriCorps members have served in Oswego County. The Oswego County AmeriCorps program recognized members during the week of March 4, AmeriCorps Week.

"This is an opportunity to show our appreciation to AmeriCorps members in two local programs who serve our area and to thank community partners who make AmeriCorps possible," said program coordinator Kathy Andolina of the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau. "The 2016-2017 program year marks the 20th year of operation of Oswego AmeriCorps."

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

Many AmeriCorps members find that serving in the program is so rewarding they decide to serve for more than one term of service.

Casey Fleming is serving her second term of service with Oswego AmeriCorps. Her current position is shared by two sites - Oswego Youth Court and Oswego County Opportunities.

Fleming said she decided to join AmeriCorps because "I wanted to gain experience in my field and work with kids." She enjoys serving youth at both sites by "doing events and community service projects with Youth Court, building something new at OCO (trafficking and exploitation outreach) and being able to put college coursework to use."

Fleming's advice for other AmeriCorps members is to "take advantage of all the opportunities given. One of the best things is gaining hands-on experience for future job opportunities."

Members serving this program year in the Oswego County AmeriCorps Program include Carolyn Ahart, Leighton Elementary School; Kimberlee Batchelor, Leighton Elementary School; Stacy Baum, Oswego County Opportunities (OCO); Elizabeth Bonner, Oswego Salvation Army Bridging the Gap; Jeanne Cieszeski, Literacy Coalition of Oswego County; Georgia Davis, New Haven Elementary School; Emma Donovan, Lanigan Elementary School; Kaylee Fallat, Leighton Elementary School; Casey Fleming, Oswego Youth Court and OCO; Alyshia Hull, Pulaski Public Library; Lindsay Johnson, Oswego Community Christian School; Monica Kahler, Oswego Public Library; Melissa Knox-Algarin, Oswego Community Christian School; Martha Marshall, Oswego County Anti-Poverty Task Force; Michelle Pawlenko, Fairgrieve Elementary School; Theresa Ryan, OCO; Evan Salmonsen, Hannibal High School; Danielle Sperato, Palermo Elementary School; and Aryel Vezzose, Hannibal High School. Members serving in the Oswego Economic Development Corps are Sarah Dufrane, Catholic Charities of Oswego County, and Erica Bentley, OCO.

For more information on AmeriCorps programs in Oswego County, contact Andolina at the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau at 315-349-3451 or go to http://www.oswegocounty.com/youth/Americorps.html. >

FLEECE BLANKET PROJECT - Oswego AmeriCorps members and staff worked with youth from the Fulton Family YMCA's School Age Child Care Program to make fleece blankets on Martin Luther King Day. The blankets were donated to the Oswego County Health Department and will be given to babies served by the maternal and child health services program and the car-seat fitting station. Front row, from left, are Diane Oldenburg, Oswego County Health Department; and Melissa Knox-Algarin, Lindsay Johnson and Kimberlee Batchelor, Oswego AmeriCorps. Back row, from left, are Aryel Vezzose, Erica Bentley, Casey Fleming, Michelle Pawlenko, Stacy Baum, Emma Donovan and Monica Kahler, Oswego AmeriCorps.

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