June 24, 2016
Faith Munford, Bethany Reeves, Kenyata Tate and Jennifer Thomas have spent the past year making life better for some of the community’s most vulnerable people. As a result of their outstanding commitment to service, the four women were recently named YWCA Central Alabama’s AmeriCorps Members of the Year.
“All of our members have dedicated themselves to making Birmingham a better place for everyone, and these four have been exceptionally dedicated to the spirit of service that makes AmeriCorps such a unique experience,” said Stacy Oliver, coordinator of the program for the YW. “They inspire their fellow AmeriCorps members and have truly had a heart for serving and increasing the reach of nonprofits throughout our community.”
The announcement came during a recent celebration for all of the YW’s “Building Communities, Bettering Lives” AmeriCorps members, who have served with the YWCA and 16 partner agencies. “We are grateful for their dedication and for the difference they have made in the lives of so many,” Oliver said.
AmeriCorps is a national service initiative similar to the Peace Corps, but members commit to a year of service within the United States, rather than internationally. Since the program’s founding in 1994, nearly 1 million members have contributed more than 1.2 billion service hours across the country. The YW’s program is offered in partnership with Serve Alabama and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Munford, who served with the YWCA’s social justice department, “is powerfully smart and inquisitive,” her nominator said. “She’s very thoughtful and courageous in her ability to include anyone in the conversation of social justice.”
Reeves, who is completing her second year of service, was recognized for creating a formal volunteer program at Girls Inc. of Central Alabama. “She is a consummate professional who is always courteous, communicative, reliable and willing to provide assistance outside of her realm of duties,” said the person who recommended her for the honor.
Tate and Thomas both serve at the YWCA’s Family Resource Center in Woodlawn. Tate, who coordinates the YW’s summer work and enrichment program for teens, was praised for her positive attitude and initiative. “She’s gone above and beyond in her service, proving to be quite an asset and helping bring order, organization, proactive thinking and passion to her position,” her nominator said.
Thomas, who is completing her second year of service, is the healthy living specialist at the FRC and oversees the community garden and coordinates programs such as healthy cooking classes. She was recognized for “wearing a thousand different hats and juggling a thousand different balls. She embodies what it is to be an AmeriCorps member, and she is getting things done for her community.”
The YW is currently recruiting 40 members for the 2016-17 term, which begins in September. For more information or to apply, click here.
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