Etcetera - 07/22/10

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B lue Mountain Action Council graduated 29 AmeriCorps members during a July 15 ceremony, said Luis Rosales, local AmeriCorps director.

Participants were local and from out of state. They spent the last 101/2 months serving the community as AmeriCorps state and national service members, Luis said.

AmeriCorps members have contributed 47,321.5 hours, have helped recruit 746 volunteers, of which 4,672 hours can be attributed, and have brought in $97,690.81 worth of in-kind service.

The BMAC AmeriCorps teams worked with distinction at their sites, and carried out several large and small service projects, most this year unless indicated, including:

Make A Splash - 1,200 students served.

Earth Day 40th Anniversary - over 700 individuals served.

Da de los Ni?±os - 600-plus individuals served.

Leadership Academy.

MLK Day - Domestic Violence Awareness .

Make-A-Difference Day Trick-o-Treat for Christian Aid Center (2008 - current).

The Big 10 - Community Center For Youth.

Graduating AmeriCorps members for the 2009-2010 program year are Angela L. Skiles, LeAnna Lesmeister, Children's Home Society; Anna Conaway, Ericka L. Sayers, Mario Uribe Salda?±a, Brianna Sharrer, Sharpstein Elementary; Calli B. Nelson, Chanel Parke, Green Park Elementary; Emily B. Daniel, Children's Museum; Emma Schmidt, Michelle A. Gwinn, Blue Ridge Elementary; Fiona C. Taggart, Linda M. Mummy, Edison Elementary; Glenna R. Awbrey, Jaimee L. Maurer, BMAC Weatherization; Hailey D. Kimmel, Friends of Walla Walla; John J. Riley, Zarabeth K. Bierman, Prospect Point Elementary; Justin S. Greenberg, Rose M. Harper, Juvenile Justice Center; Katherine E. Bairstow, Lincoln Health Center; Paul M. Rossi, BMAC Weatherization/Berney Elementary; Sarah E. Fry, Water and Environment Center; Sasha S. Long, BMAC Food Bank; Shane E. Lundberg, BMAC Carpentry; Sonja A. Pipek, Commitment to Community; Venita Jackson, Touchet School District; Yesenia Guevara, Commitment to Community; and Zachary A. Lattin, WWSD/ESD 123.

AmeriCorps is commonly compared to Peace Corps, only as the domestic version, Luis said. It allows members to serve their country locally. This allows communities to investigate their greatest needs and address those issues by placement of AmeriCorps members who serve in a full-time capacity for up to 101/2 months. AmeriCorps attracts people of all ages; from 17 and up, with no upper age limit.

The program offers a $1,050 monthly living stipend; health insurance; child care subsidy (income dependent); forbearance of student loans while in service; payment of interest accrued on student loans while in service; training; and a $5,350 education award for furthering education or repayment of student loans. To learn more, contact Kristen Sayers at the local office, 529-4980.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or 526-8313.

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