Press Releases

2018 Governor's Service Recognition Honorees Announced


[Madison, Wisconsin] – Four honorees will be recognized at the 2018 Governor’s Service Recognition ceremony from 3:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. on April 30th at Green Lake Conference Center located at W2511 WI-23, Green Lake, WI 54941. The event honors outstanding volunteers, national service participants and programs that have helped to address serious social needs in their communities. These honorees have made significant contributions to Wisconsin through their service efforts.


2018 Governor’s Service Recognition Honorees

AmeriCorps Member of the Year
Terrance Sims, Teach for America Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI)

AmeriCorps Program of the Year
Project 16:49, Wisconsin Association for Homeless & Runaway Services (Janesville, WI)

AmeriCorps VISTA Participant of the Year
Trevor Cooper, Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (Oconomowoc, WI)

Senior Corps Participant of the Year
Pat Knuth, ERAs Senior Network (Waukesha, WI)



About the 2018 Governor’s Service Recognition Honorees

AmeriCorps Member of the Year

Terrance Sims- Teach for America Milwaukee

Teaching is a profound act of leadership. Terrance Sims aspires to make his community stronger through empowering students. He is one of the most passionate, creative and talented teachers you will ever meet, and he effortlessly builds relationships with students and their parents while connecting the community to his classroom. He consistently leads his students to make impressive academic growth while instilling them with a love of learning. In Terrance’s first year of teaching, all of his fourth grade students surpassed their individual Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) math goals and collectively his class demonstrated over 230% academic growth. His students consistently ranked at the top of the K-8 school in accelerated reading data, and all of his students completed the year reading on at least a fourth grade reading level. People across the city of Milwaukee as well as the nation are talking about what Terrance is doing in the classroom. For Black History Month, Terrance created a “Representation is Key” project that gained national recognition. His students researched famous African-American figures to learn about their contributions to society, wrote essays about what they learned and posed for photographs dressed as these role models. The first image they recreated was the cover art for the Oscar-nominated movie Hidden Figures. The graphic went viral and national media coverage resulted in a free field trip to NASA for Terrance and his students. In another project, Terrance and his sixth grade students remixed a popular rap song into a song called “Excellence First” about learning and achievement. This project also went viral and attracted the attention of high profile-individuals including former first lady Michelle Obama. Terrance’s students were invited to speak and perform on “Good Morning America,” “NBA on TNT,” and during a Milwaukee Bucks Game. Terrance is an exceptional leader and he has brought positive attention to the city and students of Milwaukee while creating an opportunity for his students to be a positive voice for youth today.


AmeriCorps Program of the Year

Project 16:49- Wisconsin Association for Homeless and Runaway Services

16:49 is the time between school ending one day and starting the next. It is a time in Rock County when many children and young adults are uncertain if they will have enough to eat and a place to sleep. It is also the name of a local nonprofit in Rock County that serves these youth by providing them the services and support they need to remain in school, graduate and become self-sufficient adults. This program was created through a grassroots effort sparked by a local documentary film that shed light on the existence of the unaccompanied homeless youth population and the lack of resources available to them. From September 2016 through December 2017, the AmeriCorps members at Project 16:49 had contact with 754 unaccompanied and homeless youth. Of those youth, 556 accepted significant services such as food, clothing and a safe living environment. Once immediate needs have been addressed, the youth benefit from weekly in-school workshops which increase their knowledge of independent living skills such as basic cooking, financial literacy, safe driving, how to write a resume, interview for a job, find an apartment, and vote. AmeriCorps members distributed 120 backpacks with school supplies, 180 holiday gift bags, and over 700 hygiene bags in addition to recruiting and guiding 339 volunteers who have provided the program with 4,370 hours of service. AmeriCorps members have also held over 100 meetings with schools, churches, businesses and other community service providers to build a cohesive network of support for the at risk youth of their community. The dedication, courage and compassion of the AmeriCorps members and staff at Project 16:49 serves as an inspiring example to us all as they work to provide a home and family to those who have none.


AmeriCorps VISTA Participant of the Year

Trevor Cooper- Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics

Trevor Cooper’s work impacts his community and Wisconsin by helping individuals access quality healthcare and prevention services for chronic diseases that disproportionately impact low income communities. He has developed and is sustaining outreach programs that are essential to reach these vulnerable populations. Before serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, Trevor served with the Wisconsin HealthCorps AmeriCorps program where he helped the Wautoma Health Department provide culturally competent health education, completed their community health needs assessment, and assisted them with their national accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board. Prior to his promotion to VISTA leader, Trevor served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with St. Joseph’s Medical Clinic where he took an active role in working with their nursing outreach program. Trevor collaborated with the program to implement blood pressure and blood sugar checks for 8-10 individuals per night at the Salvation Army Community Meal Time. He also trained clinic volunteers in their intake process to collect demographic and health data of their participants. These volunteers donated over 200 service hours in support of the program. Since becoming a VISTA leader, Trevor has worked to gain monetary and in-kind support for the WAFCC Standards of Excellence and Opiate Reduction VISTA Projects. He secured three host sites, assisted in initiating a relationship with the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality, and collaborated with the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health to create a safety map that includes the locations of free clinics in the state. Trevor is a kind-hearted advocate in his community who truly embodies the VISTA mission. He was recently admitted to the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health where he hopes to become a pediatrician who will be an advocate for children’s rights and healthcare for all.


Senior Corps Participant of the Year

Pat Knuth- ERAs Senior Network

Pat Knuth has been a volunteer with ERAs Senior Network since 2001. In addition to previously serving on the Board of Directors for six years, Pat provides program support through data entry and special events assistance, serves as a Pen Pal with local elementary school students, is a member of the Finance Committee, and acts as an Agency Ambassador. As an Agency Ambassador, Pat represents ERAs Senior Network in the community to share their mission, recruit other senior volunteers, and present information about STOP, the agency’s program to increase knowledge of frauds and scams. In 2016, ERAs developed STOP Senior Frauds and Scams to help educate seniors and their caregivers about common scams targeting their population. Pat has played an integral role in delivering this information to seniors as a STOP presenter. Pat is knowledgeable about how to recognize and respond to senior frauds and scams, and communicates this information in a comfortable, peer-to-peer manner. Since its inception, the STOP Senior Frauds and Scams program has been presented 43 times to 1,200 people. Pat has presented 19 of those sessions. Pat is extremely dedicated to spreading awareness and has taken on the majority of the workload to ensure that seniors and their caregivers are better equipped to reduce their likelihood of becoming victims of fraud or scams. Pat’s heart for service has inspired her to utilize the skills she’s cultivated throughout her life to share with and impact others.


Together, Serve Wisconsin and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) Wisconsin State Office sponsor the Governor’s Service Recognition Event. Serve Wisconsin is Wisconsin’s National and Community Service Board. Serve Wisconsin works with AmeriCorps programs throughout the state of Wisconsin to addresses human, educational, environmental, public safety and homeland security needs. AmeriCorps members are given the opportunity to enrich the lives of the people and communities they serve and their own lives through professional and personal development. Serve Wisconsin is governed by 21-member citizen body appointed by Governor Walker. For more information about Serve Wisconsin or Wisconsin AmeriCorps programs, visit https://servewisconsin.wi.gov.


The Corporation for National and Community Service provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through programs like AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Volunteer Generation Fund, and more. The Corporation is working to build a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in America. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov/.


Download the print version of this press release:2018 Governor's Service Press Release.pdf




Serve Wisconsin Recaps Outstanding 2016-2017 Program Year


Serve Wisconsin releases 2016-2017 Annual Report highlighting the accomplishments of AmeriCorps in Wisconsin.


MADISON, WI - Governor Scott Walker congratulates the 748 Wisconsin AmeriCorps members who completed over 910,000 hours of service for Wisconsin and whose dedication to service profoundly impacted local communities as shown by the outstanding achievements detailed in the annual report such as 3,607 students improving their academic performance, 3,191 homeless youth returning home or to a safe alternative and 239 economically disadvantaged students enrolling in college.
 
AmeriCorps' impact goes beyond these incredible results. AmeriCorps shapes young adults personally and professionally, starting them on the journey to becoming the future leaders of Wisconsin. AmeriCorps members gain valuable work experience in areas including communications, leadership and project management while serving others and experiencing firsthand the importance of community.
 
The annual report also showcases the service reflections of three Wisconsin AmeriCorps members including Liam Krueger, an AmeriCorps member with Milwaukee Christian Center Youth Build. An excerpt from his reflection reads "I can't express how much of an impact AmeriCorps service has had on me. I am no longer so shy. I can step up and talk to anyone. I am proud to look people in the eye, because I know I have made a contribution to my community, and I will always be willing to step up and volunteer, because I have learned that is how to get things done."
 
To learn more about the 2016-2017 program year, including AmeriCorps program descriptions and service photos, view the annual report here.
 
Download the print version of this press release: Press Release, 2016-2017 Annual Report



2018 ASC, Mott Foundation Afterschool Grant Press Release


Serve Wisconsin Among Eight States Selected to Receive Afterschool Grants from ASC, Mott Foundation

New program development initiative will expand afterschool opportunities through AmeriCorps in Wisconsin


MADISON, WI- Wisconsin will be better poised to expand out-of-school time opportunities for youth at a statewide level, thanks to new funding that has been awarded to Serve Wisconsin from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in partnership with America's Service Commissions (ASC).

The Mott Foundation awarded a $250,000 grant to ASC in September for a multi-year initiative to identify how the state service commission network can expand afterschool opportunities through national service, such as AmeriCorps.

As part of the initiative, ASC has selected eight state service commissions, including Serve Wisconsin, to receive $12,500 mini-grants. Funding will support staff and consultant time to develop a better understanding of the local afterschool landscape and identify potential paths for developing national service programming that will expand the quality and quantity of afterschool opportunities in their respective states.

In addition to Wisconsin, the following states were selected to receive this funding:

    •    Idaho: Serve Idaho
    •    Indiana: Serve Indiana
    •    Iowa: Volunteer Iowa
    •    Kansas: Kansas Volunteer Commission
    •    Maine: Maine Commission for Community Service
    •    Rhode Island: Serve Rhode Island
    •    West Virginia: Volunteer West Virginia

In Wisconsin, the funding will allow Serve Wisconsin to work with the Wisconsin Afterschool Network to enhance and expand the impact of AmeriCorps placements and national service resources by conducting an asset mapping project that will support the creation of an afterschool programing/out-of-school time (ASP/OST) data warehouse and dashboard effort that will: 

  • Identify gaps in afterschool programs that Serve Wisconsin will help fill by working with community organizations
  • Further investigate and generate new definitions of quality afterschool programming by engaging new communities and stakeholders, especially those from traditionally underrepresented communities to help afterschool programs provide quality programing
  • Determine those programs most in need of additional support and the type of support needed
  • Lead to statewide policies that secure resources that will sustain new and existing afterschool programs
  • Identify how service learning is being used in after school programing and how it can be used

These outcomes will further align effective AmeriCorps recruitment and placement by:

  • Better detailing the responsibilities of each staff member to deliver quality ASP/OST programing
  • Clarifying procedures and documentation needed for new member applications, placements, interviews, and offers to create maximum impact matches
  • Specifying the responsibilities of the umbrella organization, individual programs, and sponsors
  • Identifying areas that lack after-school programing that would be suitable AmeriCorps sites

Serve Wisconsin will also receive support from America’s Service Commissions, through monthly learning community calls, ongoing coaching, and a yearly convening for the states receiving grants.

“We are honored to have been selected for this important afterschool initiative,” said Jeanne Duffy, Serve Wisconsin’s Executive Director. “With ASC’s support and Mott Foundation's strong connections to afterschool networks, we are confident that we can make a real difference for a lot of young people in Wisconsin through AmeriCorps and national service programming.”

“We are excited to partner with Serve Wisconsin on this effort, and to help support the future expansion of afterschool opportunities and AmeriCorps programming in Wisconsin,” said ASC CEO Kaira Esgate.
In addition to supporting states, ASC will work with the National Network of Statewide Afterschool Networks and other key stakeholders to develop new strategies around afterschool program development over the next two years.

Through this effort, ASC believes that the project will lead to an increased understanding between state service commissions and statewide afterschool networks about how to leverage national service and AmeriCorps resources in support of high-quality afterschool opportunities nationwide.
For more information on this initiative, visit statecommissions.org/afterschool.

Download the print version of this press release: Press Release ASC, Mott Foundation Afterschool Grant.pdf



2017 ​Opening Ceremonies Media Advisory


Wisconsin Joins Nationwide AmeriCorps Opening Ceremonies

350 AmeriCorps members will take the AmeriCorps member pledge kicking-off their year of service in Wisconsin.


Madison, Wisconsin – On October 10th, a new class of Wisconsin AmeriCorps members will pledge to “get things done for America” as part of nationwide swearing-in ceremonies.

WHEN: October 10, 12:00 pm. to 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Capitol Building Rotunda, Madison, WI
WHAT: Swearing In of AmeriCorps Members
WHO: New AmeriCorps Members, AmeriCorps Alums & Friends of AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps members provide intensive, results-driven service to meet education, environmental, health, economic, and other pressing needs in communities across Wisconsin. AmeriCorps is a cost‐effective solution to America’s toughest problems. AmeriCorps expands education and economic opportunity while strengthening the impact of our nation’s nonprofits.

Since 1994, more than 23,000 Wisconsin residents have served more than 35 million hours and have qualified for education scholarships totaling more than $86 million.

Serve Wisconsin works with AmeriCorps programs throughout the state of Wisconsin to addresses human, educational, environmental, public safety and homeland security needs. AmeriCorps members are given the opportunity to enrich the lives of the people and communities they serve and their own lives through professional and personal development. Serve Wisconsin is governed by 21-member citizen body appointed by Governor Walker. For more information visit www.wiamericorps.com/.

AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund, and the Volunteer Generation Fund, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information visit www.nationalservice.gov.

Download the print version of this media advisory: 2017 Opening Ceremonies Media Advisory.pdf