February 12, 2005: Headlines: Americorps: The Herald Record: Local Americorps sworn in

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Americorps: January 23, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: Americorps : February 12, 2005: Headlines: Americorps: The Herald Record: Local Americorps sworn in

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Local Americorps sworn in

Local Americorps sworn in

Local Americorps sworn in

Local 'Peace Corps' sworn in
By Kate Andrews The Record Herald

Franklin County Commissioner Warren Elliott swears in Franklin and Fulton counties' first AmeriCorps volunteers including, from left, Annie Stone, Sheila Mercier and Marie Campion.

CHAMBERSBURG - Franklin County Commissioner Warren Elliott swore in Franklin and Fulton counties' first AmeriCorps volunteers Friday afternoon.

Elliott called volunteers like the members of AmeriCorps' inaugural class the backbone of the community.
"I've really come to appreciate the thousands and thousands of volunteers (in our area)," Elliott said.

The volunteers will spend one year working with local nonprofit groups. The program is modeled after the Peace Corps, in which members spend a year volunteering abroad.

They presented a "check" to the county commissioners, pledging to work 17,000 hours in that time.

The volunteers will receive small stipends and a little more than $4,000 toward their educations.

"It's a big sacrifice," said Kenny Wuertenberg, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Franklin and Fulton Counties (MHA), which administers the local program.

The volunteers have spent the last two weeks training for their jobs, and Wuertenberg said they are very excited to begin.

Wuertenberg said volunteering comes naturally to people in Franklin and Fulton counties, but he hopes the new AmeriCorps program will motivate even more to help out.

"We have faith we will create a ripple in the community," said volunteer Annie Stone.

MHA received a $124,000 one-year grant from PennServe, which coordinates all the AmeriCorps activities in Pennsylvania, to start up the local program.

The money paid for the equivalant of 10 full-time volunteers at nonprofit organizations in the two counties.

The volunteers

The nine volunteers who participated in Friday's ceremony are:

n Marie Champion, a former AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer coordinator, who will organize and manage the Youth Arts Initiative Program and volunteer programs at the Capital Theatre Center in Chambersburg.

n Laura Morrison, a 2004 graduate of Shippensburg University, who will work with Franklin County Legal Services, educating underserved Fulton County residents and the Franklin County Hispanic and Latino community about legal rights, responsibilities and available services.

n Catherine Keefer, a Penn State student, who will work with the Fulton County Penn State Cooperative Extension to expand and enhance Fulton County's youth programming, including 4-H.

n Connie Collins, a Bedford County resident, who will develop a new volunteer program at the Fulton County Center for Families.

n Annie Stone, a recent Wilson College graduate, who will expand the Wilson College Center for Sustainable Living's current community outreach program, develop an environmental education curriculum and organize a volunteer program.

n Sheila Mercier, a long-time Chambersburg resident, who will work with MHA, recruiting, organizing and training volunteers to help parents of students with special needs.

n Susan Roberts, a local equine consultant and former director of Employment Solutions Personnel in Kentucky, who will work with the Mountain Valley Center in Chambersburg to recruit and organize a local advisory committee, expand and market current programming and organize a new pet and barnyard therapy program.

n Amie Anderson, a recent Shippensburg University graduate, who will serve with the Fulton County Partnership to revitalize the current Fulton County Teens Resisting Unhealthy Choices Everyday program and develop a new volunteer transportation program to serve the county.

n Niki Crouse, a Shippensburg University student, who will act as on-site coordinator for the Franklin Library System's new Fannett-Metal School District and Head Start education and outreach administration.

When this story was posted in February 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Tony Hall urges politicians to bring religious faith to office 4 Feb
Dodd opposes Gonzales nomination 3 Feb
Dr. Robert Zeigler to head Rice Research Institute 3 Feb
Taylor Hackford going into television with "E-Ring" 2 Feb
President Bush's past promises in State of the Union 1 Feb
Moreigh Wolf says gays cannot volunteer with partners 1 Feb
Coleman to chair Peace Corps Subcommittee 1 Feb
Vasquez assesses need in Southeast Asia 31 Jan
James Bullington says Bush Inaugural speaks to PC 31 Jan
Allen Andersson creates foundation to promote libraries 31 Jan
Joseph Opala to film "Priscilla's Homecoming" 31 Jan
Donna Shalala embarks on aggressive UM expansion 31 Jan
Thomas Dichter says Poor Countries Need Smarter Aid 30 Jan
Alberto Ibargüen to head Knight Foundation 28 Jan
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Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.

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Story Source: The Herald Record

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