Blog

Behind the Scenes – Randall Eaker

Article Authors: Christine Doka & Randall Eaker (CAC AmeriCorps 2018-2019)

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has been a cornerstone in East Tennessee since the 1930s. The TVA Act, which created TVA, was part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal to help residents of East Tennessee recover from the Great Depression through employment, access to electricity, and otherwise generally improving the quality of life in the region. Since then, TVA has grown to serve over 10 million people in 7 southeastern states. If you ask a local about TVA, you may hear about the noticeable steam plants that overlook our rivers, or the large dams that were built to control flooding in the area. However, TVA does much more than providing electricity and controlling flooding; TVA also offers outdoor recreation spaces and economic development opportunities.

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The Acclaimed Reclaimers

Article Authors: 
Marlee Jennings, Annalisa Tarizzo, Sarah Clark, Megan Finan, & Leah McCord

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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 that work, and, from this, the opportunity to develop well-functioning, tightly bounded crews.  These include the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, Beardsley Farm, Knox County Storm Water, and University of Tennessee Recycling. It was in 2010 that Jay Price, the UT Recycling Manager, welcomed in the first AmeriCorps State/National Members, and the number has grown since, expanding to include a VISTA Member in the 2017-2018 service year, capping the current total at 5. Such is the comradery that forms in this group that requests for serving a second year with the same Members has become commonplace.

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Empowering Community through Education

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, including seniors, children, and the homeless.  These efforts proudly continue and are being added to by two new sites, Girls, Inc. and Centro Hispano de East Tennessee, dedicated to combating poverty through one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal: EDUCATION.

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Life Begins at the Edge of Our Comfort Zone

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 if I had been able to see what it looked like before I signed the lease. Standing in front of this house, in a strange city, it dawned on me that everything about this year could take me out of my comfort zone.

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Two Years Strong

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 the community I was already a part of. I had heard about CAC Americorps in Knoxville through volunteering at Beardsley Community Farm. I did some research and liked that the program was run by a local organization that was extensively integrated into the community. Continue reading “Two Years Strong”

One Word.

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 choose to become servant leaders.

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