Now into its fourth year, the CAC AmeriCorps VISTA Program has grown from 11 host sites with 12 members to its current 20 host sites and 25 members. Each year, the baton of personalized support and guidance is passed to each successive VISTA Leader, and this transition bids a fond adieu to one and a … Continue reading VISTA – 4G
All of our CAC AmeriCorps members are spectacular and get great things done and we love them all. But there are those who ascend above even such a high bar, and on June 15th, 2020, we gathered at the Parkway Drive-In Theatre in Maryville, TN to give them the recognition they deserve while maintaining social … Continue reading And the Winners Are …
By Annalisa Tarizzo The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Office of Sustainability works to Make Orange Green by promoting a sustainable and equitable campus community. We take pride in our role as part of the state’s flagship land-grant university and our responsibility to mitigate the social impacts of climate change. Through student engagement and collaborative programming, … Continue reading Waste Naught
by Connie Flachs I woke up in my new Knoxville home, rolling off the tattered mattress pad serving as my temporary bed onto the laminate wood floor, covered in a layer of dust. What was this barren room? I had left my comfortable, cozy, love-filled Michigan home to move South and start a new adventure, … Continue reading Homemaking to Placemaking
Article Author: Ariel Allen, CAC AmeriCorps Staff; Alum 2013-2014 Meredith has had one busy year. Her site, the University of Tennessee- FUTURE Program, is a postsecondary education program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities that empower participants to achieve gainful employment in the community and have their own college experience.
Article Author: Ariel Allen, CAC AmeriCorps 2014-15, CAC AmeriCorps Staff VISTA member Hannah Freeman’s numbers might be small, but they are mighty. But sometime the quantitative doesn’t paint the whole service picture. It merely provides an outline. The qualitative is what gives experience it’s richness. Plus, part of the qualitative includes Hannah rubbing elbows with … Continue reading Power of Kindness and Persistent Inclusivity
Article Author: Ariel Allen, CAC AmeriCorps 2014-15 Gordon Harless, CAC AmeriCorps VISTA 2018-19 As for why AmeriCorps, Gordon Harless currently serving at CAC Housing & Energy, would say that he chose to serve for selfish reasons. Yes, he wanted to help and give back to the community and society in general, but mainly because doing … Continue reading Irreplaceable
As evidenced by the number of pet pics many of us carry on our phones, our furry companions provide love, loyalty, supportive hugs and snuggles, a touching dependency, and hilarious hi-jinx. They inspire, amuse, rescue, comfort, and complete us, and this day is dedicated to giving them the recognition they deserve. To all our best … Continue reading National Pet Day: April 11
By Jason Scott For National Pet Day (April 11th) I wanted to reflect on the role that cats played in my second year of AmeriCorps service back in 2007. It was the winter and I had relocated to Jacksonville, Florida in January for my second term of service with Florida State Parks.
Article Authors: Marlee Jennings, Annalisa Tarizzo, Sarah Clark, Megan Finan, & Leah McCord Most CAC AmeriCorps Members spend their service year in focused association with their sponsoring organization, perhaps developing their strongest relationships with the supervisor, staff, and clients. But several partnering entities have more than enough work to go around, the means of supporting … Continue reading The Acclaimed Reclaimers
Before this year, the partner organizations and their respective AmeriCorps Members in our VISTA program have been building organizational capacity to provide economic opportunity, training, and resources to populations who experience significant barriers to employment. Other sites have been concentrating on creating healthier futures to our most food insecure and isolated members in the community, … Continue reading Empowering Community through Education
Article Author: Alexis Jenkin CAC AmeriCorps 2018-2019 First Impressions To fully convey the feeling of beginning my year with AmeriCorps, let me describe for you my journey to Knoxville, Tennessee. It began with a 13 hour drive and ended with me standing in front of a dilapidated looking house, one which I probably wouldn’t have chosen … Continue reading Life Begins at the Edge of Our Comfort Zone
Article Author: Austin Reynolds, CAC AmeriCorps 2016-2018 Before doing Americorps, I had applied and been accepted to do Peace Corps in Madagascar. After deciding it was not the right time for me to uproot and ship off to a foreign country for two years, I looked at local options that would allow me to serve … Continue reading Two Years Strong
Article Author: Jason Scott, CAC AmeriCorps Program Director As I approach my 3-year anniversary as CAC AmeriCorps’ Program Director, I reflect on the journey over the last 3 years and the elements that have defined the people, texture, and tone of my service in this role and offer some advice to members and those who … Continue reading One Word.
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 … Continue reading From Kevin Morris, CAC AmeriCorps Member to Kevin Morris J.D
Article Author: Kay Shanda, CAC AmeriCorps Member 2017-2018 Keep Sevier Beautiful (KSB) has been providing me with smiles and laughter since the day I stepped into the office to start my AmeriCorps year with them as their Program Coordinator. For starters, the office I stepped into was not going to be our office for long, … Continue reading Environmental Service with a Side of Smiles
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 … Continue reading Butterflies, Buffers, and Bioswales: a Year in Stormwater
Article Author: Sally Buice, CAC AmeriCorps VISTA Member 2017-2018 I’m spending this year serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Nourish Knoxville, a nonprofit organization working in the East Tennessee region to cultivate and support relationships between farmers, artisanal producers, and the community through outreach, education, and advocacy, and to build healthy communities through connections to … Continue reading Alternative Farmers’ Market Currencies & Local Businesses
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 … Continue reading Expect the Unexpected with National Service
Article Author: Jason Scott, CAC AmeriCorps Program Director & AmeriCorps*NCCC Alum, 2006 After spending some time with Weasel the farm cat on a rainy Thursday morning in April, I had the opportunity to sit down with Adam Caraco, a 2008-2009 alum of CAC AmeriCorps and the Assistant Urban Agriculture Director of CAC Beardsley Community Farm … Continue reading As a symbol, I can be incorruptible, everlasting.
Article Author: Kellie Hill, CAC AmeriCorps Member 2016-2017 CAC AmeriCorps has given me the opportunity to move to a city in which I never thought I’d live, and serve a community that has grown so close to my heart. I am incredibly grateful for the way that CAC AmeriCorps allows me to connect with a … Continue reading Dirty Hands, Clear Mind
Article Author: Kevin Ridder, CAC AmeriCorps Member 2016-2017 Before I kick this post off, let me ask you my all-time least favorite question: where do you see yourself in five years? If you think you know, congratulations! If you are now filled with a raw, seething hatred, you’re not alone. I couldn’t even tell you … Continue reading Searching for Certainty
Article Author: Isaac Hopkins, CAC AmeriCorps Member 2016-2017 Hello, my name is Isaac Hopkins and I am a current member of CAC Americorps. I fill the position of crew member on the Great Smoky Mountain Nation Park Wildland Fire Module.
Article Author: Jason Scott, CAC AmeriCorps Program Director & AmeriCorps*NCCC Alum, 2006 On a warm February day I had the pleasure of sitting down with the members of AmeriCorps*NCCC team, River 7, to discuss their service year thus far and to get a sense of how they are enjoying Knoxville and their service at Ijams … Continue reading AmeriCorps*NCCC, River 7 at Ijams Nature Center
Article Author: Nicole Stephens, CAC AmeriCorps Alum 2014-2015 I am very loud, I kind of have a filter, and I have always felt the need to speak my mind-even when it goes against what others are saying. If there were a “Most Outspoken” superlative in high school, I probably would have won.
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 … Continue reading A Massachusetts Yankee in the (not really) Deep South
Article Author: Jason Scott, CAC AmeriCorps Program Director Based on the accounts of 2016-2017 CAC AmeriCorps members Alex Bonner, Sarah Carman, Christine Doka, Owain Heyden, Shannon Haines and Isaac Hopkins It is Monday, August the 15th. It is the first day of service for our AmeriCorps members at their respective project sites. 6 of these members … Continue reading CAC AmeriCorps Louisiana Disaster Deployment – #DisasterServe
Article Author: Anna-Lise Halford, CAC AmeriCorps member 2012-2013 “I start class again tomorrow, actually.” “Mmhmm, just a couple of classes. And labs.” “Including organic chemistry. Yep.” “Ha, thanks. I’m glad to be starting back.”
Article Author: Maya Carl, CAC AmeriCorps Member 2015-2016 Food is life. This is what I started my speech with on Mayor’s Recognition Day when people in the Knoxville community came to recognize Corps service and package almost 600 meals.One would think that a statement so simple could be easily understood…
Article Author: Alanna McKissack, Executive Director of Keep Blount Beautiuful & CAC AmeriCorps Member 2015-2016 On my college graduation day, I like many others had no idea where my life was headed next. I had applied for numerous jobs and graduate school programs. None of which seemed to be working out for me. While graduating … Continue reading Like a Boss
Article Author: Joseph Konvicka, CAC AmeriCorps member 2015-2016 If you’re reading this post, you may know a thing or two about me. I am writing this to those who do not know me or do not know me well. While I have become more socially connected to others during my terms of service, I am … Continue reading Water you doing?! The Story of Two Years of Service!
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 … Continue reading Curing Inaction
Article Author: Samantha Stoklosa, CAC AmeriCorps member 2014-2015 & 2015-2016 As I approach the end of my second term as a CAC AmeriCorps member, the one question I ask myself is: “What if I had taken the other AmeriCorps position?” Before I talk about this “oh so important question,” I need to back up a little … Continue reading What If?
Article Author: Sarah Anderson, CAC AmeriCorps member 2015-2016 with introduction by CAC AmeriCorps Program Director, Jason Scott When Volunteer Tennessee, our state AmeriCorps commission, asked CAC AmeriCorps to submit the profile of a stand-out member for AmeriCorps Week, everyone in the CAC AmeriCorps office felt very strongly about spotlighting Sarah Anderson. Sarah has demonstrated tremendous … Continue reading How #AmeriCorps Works for Sarah
Article Author: Ariel Allen, Staff & CAC AmeriCorps Alum 2014-2015 Featured Image by Ariel Allen When tasked to find an applicant to round out our 40 member corps for a manual labor position working with the Aslan Foundation, someone like Christine Doka wasn’t immediately who came to mind. Envisioning the paper towel legend “Brawny-Man” was, … Continue reading A Woman in a Brawny Man’s World
Article Author: Ariel Allen, Staff & CAC AmeriCorps Alum 2014-2015 With the approaching new year, in the thick of the nostalgic post-Christmas bubble, I started digging through my old emails and began piecing together a story of my humbling past few years. Below is a compilation of excerpts from my actual emails that will not … Continue reading An AmeriCorps Journey Through Emails: A Story of Rejection
Article Author: Ariel Allen , CAC AmeriCorps Staff and Alum 2014- 2015 Frank Callo joined CAC AmeriCorps in 2006 as a father, a gardening advocate and recent grad. Four years later his son, Matt Callo, would literally follow in his dirt-stained footsteps. I sat down with father and son and asked about their experience with … Continue reading Gardens aren’t made, they’re grown…
Article Author: Joshua Cunningham, CAC AmeriCorps Alum 2011-2012 Now and again, when I am telling one of my favorite stories (said stories usually glorify me in someway that adds to my mystique and appeal as an adventurer), I have to stop myself and roll the words around in my mouth for a bit. It isn’t … Continue reading All My Favorite Stories
Article Author: Katie Walberg, CAC AmeriCorps Alum 2011-2012 & 2012-2013 Imagine an art student, obsessed with the implications human development has on our natural resources, coming out of graduate school and searching for a job. I thought teaching college art courses would be the next logical step, but during the 2009-10 economic downturn these jobs … Continue reading It was exactly what I was looking for.. and exactly what I needed..
Article Author: Nickolas Seitler, CAC AmeriCorps Alum 2014-2015 Throughout my AmeriCorps term I met countless interesting people, helped plan events, and spent time making my community a better place. And throughout all of it one of the most rewarding experiences was tutoring and mentoring at the CAC East center on Monday nights.
Article Author: Justine Cucchiara, CAC AmeriCorps Alum 2010-2011 & 2011-2012 If I had realized what I was embarking on when I applied to be an AmeriCorps Member, I probably would not have gone through with it. I was in the midst of finishing a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries at the University of Tennessee … Continue reading I Would Have Run For The Hills
Article Author: Zach Johnson, CAC AmeriCorps Alum 2008-2009 I, Zach Johnson, volunteered and completed two service years in Americorps which have helped me grow as a person during and after my completed service. Serving as an Americorps member has impacted my life positively in a number of ways. I made excellent professional, social, educational, and … Continue reading Two Great Years
Article Author: Maura Connolly, CAC AmeriCorps Alum, 2014-2015 A little over a year ago I packed up two suitcases and four boxes of my belongings and met them all in Knoxville, TN: a city I had never been to in a state I had never even driven through. My roommate whom I had never met … Continue reading My AmeriCorps Journey
Article Author: Jason R. Scott, Town of Farragut, Stormwater Coordinator, Site Supervisor AmeriCorps changed my life. Nearly 10 years after my first term of AmeriCorps service, I can still say, without hesitation, I am the person I am today because of the unexpected opportunities I experienced because of this program. This narrative is an account … Continue reading A Thread Woven Through Time