From Kevin Morris, CAC AmeriCorps Member to Kevin Morris J.D

Article Author: 

Ariel Allen, CAC AmeriCorps Alum 2014-2015 | Assistant Program Director | Friend & Admirer of THE Kevin Morris 

I recently attended my fellow alum, who I served alongside in 2014-15, graduation from law school. Yes, Kevin Morris is one of those painfully exceptional people who is kind, smart, athletic, talented, generous AND – to my amazement- still one of my best friends 4 years later. Sitting with other friends whom we also met through AmeriCorps, we listened and read about his accolades: graduated in the top 20% of his class, over 100 hours of pro-bono work volunteered, immediately rushed to the aid of families in crisis during an immigration raid in a nearby rural community (please watch him SERIOUSLY DELIVER in this video. Preach Kevin. Preach). Only then did we fully realize the magnitude of his accomplishments.

 I wanted to take the opportunity to showcase his journey. Sorry it’s taken so long to realize just how amazing its been, Kev. So this is my tribute to him- my good friend- Kevin Morris JD.

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Butterflies, Buffers, and Bioswales: a Year in Stormwater

Article Author: 
Cassandra Davis, CAC AmeriCorps Alum 2016-2017


On an early morning in May, I donned my monarch butterfly cloak with feathered antenna and headed out to talk to 900 excited raindrops about how wetlands improve water quality by removing pollutants.  Water Palooza was a station at WaterFest, a water quality festival for hundreds of students at Ijams Nature Center, where students pretended to be raindrops as they picked up metaphorical pollutants from urban, agricultural, residential and industrial stations. I was a wetland butterfly at the final station where the “raindrops” cleaned off their sediment, toxins, bacteria and trash. WaterFest was one of the many educational events during my term I will fondly look back on.  A year ago this would have been an anxiety inducing event for me. I wasn’t exactly a social butterfly before my AmeriCorps term. Being a Knox County AmeriCorps member has given me the confidence to pursue my career and personal goals.


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Expect the Unexpected with National Service

Article Author:
Lauren Parker, CAC AmeriCorps Member 2015-2016 ; 2016-2017

I wish I could say that my introduction to AmeriCorps was born from a burning desire to improve my community and engage in environmental service. It was the result of a hasty post-graduation job search as I knew my laboratory technician job at UT had an imminent expiration date.

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A Massachusetts Yankee in the (not really) Deep South

Article Author:
Emily Barbour, CAC AmeriCorps Alum 2014-2015

When I accepted a position with AmeriCorps in Knoxville one month after graduating from my small liberal arts college in New England, I had a lot of assumptions about what living in the South would mean. Now, depending on where you’re from, you might consider me a southerner. I’m from Maryland where we are technically south of the Mason-Dixon line, though we sided with the north in the Civil War. When I moved up to Massachusetts for college I was told sternly that I was a southerner, but whenever I venture south of the DC bubble I’m told in no uncertain terms that I’m not allowed to refer to myself as a southerner. All of this was more than enough to give a native of the Mid-Atlantic a mild identity crisis, but, in the end, I have chosen to label myself as a northerner, because that’s where I feel most at home. So moving to Knoxville, a town I had only just barely heard of, in what I, at the time, considered the Deep South was more than a little daunting.

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Curing Inaction

Article Author:
Rachel Newcomb, CAC AmeriCorps member 2015-2016

As a young kid my favorite part of my family’s weekly routine was when my mother would pull the car into a parking lot between a Food Lion and a store bearing a cow wearing 3-D glasses. This wondrous place was called MOOVIES and it’s where we picked our choice of VHS rentals for the week.

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