Deirdre was born and raised in Winston-Salem, NC. She chose to join AmeriCorps because she wants to be a part of a program that makes an everlasting impact positively affecting the lives of others in the long run. When Deirdre completes her second AmeriCorps term, she would like to finish her BA at NC A&T in pursuit of law school. She is passionate about helping others. She finds more joy assisting individuals than she does doing things for herself. She enjoys giving back to those who are less fortunate and more deserving. Her free time is spent reading books and artistically applying makeup. She also enjoys watching movies and traveling. Though she doesn’t have the time to do it as much as she would like, she enjoys getting made-up and going out.
Savanah was born and raised in Greensboro, NC. She has lived in the same house since she was one year old. She also lived in Chapel Hill, NC for 3 years and London, UK for six months when she was in college. Savanah chose to join AmeriCorps because she still needed time to figure out what she wanted to do with her life. She thought a year of service would help her get hands on experience working with people while figuring everything out. Additionally, she had always wanted to work with refugees because many of her friends at school were refugees. Savanah is unsure what she will do after her AmeriCorps year. She may go to graduate school or go straight into a job she loves. She is passionate about education. Reading the book, I Am Malala, encouraged her to become more aware and passionate about this subject. She is now paying attention to educational initiatives in her community. She is also passionate about human rights and spends her free time learning about human rights issues across the world and reading. She never read anything outside of schoolwork until the coronavirus outbreak, but has discovered that she likes to read a variety of different books. Savanah also just got a new dog, so she likes spending her free time with him. Many people are surprised to find out that Savanah played club water polo at UNC-Chapel Hill. Water polo is very intense and physically demanding so people are often surprised to find out that she played. She did get two concussions from playing and had to quit the team in her junior year of college.
Lauren is from Charlotte NC and grew up in Winston Salem NC. She chose to be an AmeriCorps member for several reasons. First, she wanted to get involved with people and fellow human beings who do not enjoy the blessings that most of society enjoys. Second, serving with AmeriCorps was an opportunity for her to do work that nourishes the soul. Third, after graduating from college, she wanted to take a year or two away from academic institutions before returning to graduate school. Serving with AmeriCorps was a good opportunity to do this. Lauren felt that working with AmeriCorps was a smart option that allowed her to gain a more comprehensive perspective of the world before pursuing a Master’s degree. After her AmeriCorps year, Lauren would like to go to graduate school for Clinical Psychology. She is passionate about serving refugees, living a God-centered life, and spending time outside. In her free time, she likes to run, cycle, swim and spend time with friends and family. She has a brother and sister that were adopted from Russia.
Genara Yadira Olmos
Genara is originally from Ecuador and grew up in a small town named Quevedo. She chose to serve in AmeriCorps because she felt it was a good opportunity to grow professionally and to help those who need it in the community. With the experience gained at AmeriCorps, she would like to get a job where she can continue helping Spanish-speaking people and attend school to study. Genara is very passionate about making crafts and really likes decorating with paper flowers. She enjoys spending her free time with her children taking them to the park and walking. Genara did Olympic gymnastics from 8 to 14 years old and went to competitions representing her province. Frequently, she would perform gymnastics outside her house and people who passed by would applaud when they saw her.
Leah is from and grew up in Chapel Hill, NC; however, she has traveled to places far from home. She appreciates that Chapel Hill offers educational opportunities in an ambitious and relatively competitive environment. Grateful to have grown up there, she is also really happy for opportunities to leave the area. Following graduation from UNC and due to the uncertainty, politics, economic, and health issues in the country, Leah saw AmeriCorps as a good way to contribute to the re-stabilization of the country. AmeriCorps appealed to Leah as a one-year time commitment with the option to extend the service following the first year of service. After the first year, Leah may consider extending her AmeriCorps commitment or pursue another opportunity such as Carolina Advising Corps. She may move to a big city such as NYC or Philadelphia to pursue work opportunities and have more of the traditional young professional experience. She will also consider a graduate school program most likely abroad in Europe. Leah is passionate about global studies, public health, and medical anthropology. She likes learning about health care of persons of different backgrounds, health disparities, diverse medical practices, and rethinking the way medicine is conducted on an international scale, as well learning about the refugee experience. Leah really enjoys staying active and being outdoors in any capacity. She also enjoys artistic expression, spending time with an intimate group of friends, catching up on a favorite series or documentary, or traveling to a new place and exploring. Leah is a twin, and although people usually assume that twins do everything together (or the same way), she and her brother have been called “polar opposites”, yet they share the same birthday and parents.
Jenny lived in several different states but considers North Carolina home. She grew up in Franklinton, a small town outside of the Triangle. After recently completing undergraduate studies, she was not quite sure in which direction she wanted to go in terms of a career and graduate school. She knew she wanted to work with people. She considered AmeriCorps the best option for her because she was able to get nonprofit experience, meet new people, and serve within her community. After her AmeriCorps year, she hopes to work for a nonprofit and eventually go to graduate school. Jenny is passionate about social justice, sustainability, and promoting the importance of mental health. She loves to learn and interact with people. Climate and environmental justice are also very near and dear to her heart. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, watching movies and stand-up comedy, reading, hanging out with friends, and walking her dog, Winston. A fun fact about Jenny is that she is learning American Sign Language and Spanish. She loves learning about different cultures and hopes to eventually travel outside of the United States.
Susannah Burley – LeaderCorps Representative
Susannah is from a small town called Trinity, North Carolina. She lived in Chapel Hill for four years while she attended college there, and after graduating in 2019, she moved back home to serve the surrounding communities in the area. She originally joined AmeriCorps in 2019 after graduating from UNC Chapel Hill. She was unsure exactly what she wanted to do, but she knew she was passionate about serving marginalized populations. After joining the AmeriCorps ACCESS Project, she quickly realized that she loved working with refugees and immigrants and wanted to continue to do so for another year. She feels fortunate to be back and starting her second term in AmeriCorps! After this AmeriCorps year, Susannah hopefully will return to school for social work. Her AmeriCorps experience introduced her to this field of work, and she now wants to pursue it as a career. With a Master’s degree in Social Work, she will be able to serve the immigrant and refugee community in a more professional capacity. Susannah is passionate about creating a more equitable and compassionate society where every member of our community deserves not only basic human rights, but also feels included and valued. She hopes to play a small role in making this happen. In her free time, Susannah enjoys seeing her family and friends (safely, socially distanced), hiking and staying active, and binging on her favorite reality tv shows. While she was in college, she was fortunate enough to study abroad in Europe where she focused on international human rights. That summer, she traveled to ten different countries and survived a bomb threat in the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.
Manasik Mohamed Idris
Manasik is from Sudan. She moved to the United States 12 years ago when she was 11 years old. She grew up in a city called Omdurman. Her childhood life was very colorful. She had many friends, went to school, and lived a comfortable life. Manasik chose to join AmeriCorps because she wanted to provide services to underserved communities, especially ethnic minority communities in North Carolina. In addition to her desire to help minorities, she joined AmeriCorps because she believes that it will allow her to incorporate her knowledge as a public health worker and expand her work experience. After her AmeriCorps year, she will attend graduate school to get a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in epidemiology. She is passionate about learning and helping others. She is also passionate about international work and traveling to different countries. In her free time, she likes to exercise, write spoken words of poetry, sew, crochet, create embroidery projects, and film YouTube videos reciting her poetry. Manasik has five more brothers and sisters.
Samuel is from Summerfield, NC which is right outside Greensboro, and he grew up in the same house in which he is currently living. AmeriCorps and CNNC have offered him an opportunity to do exactly what he wants to do – intercultural education in a community setting. He always wanted to do work that strengthens communities and builds connections between people. He loves learning languages, and has a vision of a better America as one that is globally concerned and interculturally aware. Samuel intends to go to graduate school to pursue a PhD in Education where he hopes to research methods of pedagogy that can better serve involuntarily displaced families. He is passionate about language, music, teaching, learning and building connections with other humans whose experiences might be different from his own. He likes to play guitar, read, and listen to music. In college, Samuel was a radio DJ for four years and also worked as music director of the radio station.
Early was born in California and grew up in Arizona. She chose to join AmeriCorps after she interned with the Center for New North Carolinians. After AmeriCorps, Early would like to continue working with refugees and immigrants. She also would like to live and work in other countries. Early is passionate about helping people. She likes to spend her free time with her friends and family. She loves to travel, cook and make dioramas. A fact about her is that she cannot snap her fingers.
Margaret is from Atlanta, Georgia and grew up in Decatur, GA, just on the perimeter of the city. She chose to join AmeriCorps because she wanted an outlet through which she could apply her passion for teaching and community service while being able to support herself financially and develop herself professionally. She had known a number of former AmeriCorps members who thoroughly enjoyed their experience because of the fulfillment that they gained from their service. She hopes to use her AmeriCorps experience as a solid foundation for a career in teaching English language and literature. After AmeriCorps, she plans on pursuing graduate studies in English literature and language. She hopes to pursue a career of English teaching with native and non-native English-speaking learners. By obtaining a graduate degree, she will put herself in a better position for future employment. Margaret is passionate about becoming the most authentic version of herself. She is passionate about pursuing what makes her come alive, not necessarily what she has been told that she “should” do with her life. She is passionate about the journey of self-acceptance and self-love. She is passionate about the sharing of stories that explore the diverse and profound ways in which we find meaning and purpose in life. Margaret spends her free time doing yoga, playing with her dog, and engaging in quality time with her partner, Austin. She also enjoys reading -from novels and history books to poetry and plays -and writing (many!) random thoughts in her journal. When she is not in tree pose, reading a book with a cup of tea, or paying attention to the people and pets that she loves, she can be found making overly complicated vegan meals (while listening to an audiobook) in the kitchen. She actually likes being around people! Only when they’re interesting, of course.
Jenna was born in Charlotte, NC but she moved to a small town called Fort Mill, SC when she was about 5 years old. She chose to join AmeriCorps because she is in an in-between stage of her professional life. She is fresh out of college, and not exactly sure yet what long term career path she wants to take. Serving with AmeriCorps for a year seemed like the perfect way for her to develop some really important skills like leadership, teamwork, and work ethic while still having time to think about her future career and life goals. She thought AmeriCorps would be a really good buffer for her to transition into adulthood and post-graduation life. After for first year with AmeriCorps, she wants to be able to lock down a career working with a non-profit organization. Ideally, she would like to work abroad. Jenna is passionate about helping others and participating in community service. She is also passionate about music. She loves creating her own music and listening to her favorite artists. Jenna doesn’t have much free time these days, but when she does, she enjoys spending time with friends, being outside, skating, playing piano, and improving her Italian and Spanish speaking skills. Thus far in her life, she has been to 20 countries!
Amy was born and raised in Hattiesburg, MS. She chose to join AmeriCorps because she was looking for a meaningful way to spend her gap year between undergrad and grad school. She was drawn to the types of service opportunities AmeriCorps provided and after hearing about the great experiences her friends had, she was eager to apply. After Amy’s AmeriCorps year, she intends to get her Masters of Social Work at UNC Chapel Hill. She is passionate about helping people. Amy loves getting the opportunity to meet a new person and hear their story. She enjoys spending any free time outside hiking or running. She also enjoys traveling and reading. Amy lived in Lebanon for a summer.
Louise was born in New York but grew up in Greensboro, NC. She joined AmeriCorps so that she could serve her community in new ways and learn more about the services provided to the refugee and immigrant community in Greensboro. Louise would like to work with local organizations that provide essential resources to the community such as healthcare, food, housing and education. She is passionate about public service, voting rights, proper representation and making lasting connections with people. In her free time, she likes to dance, read and write, and go on long walks. A fun fact about Louise is that she can say the alphabet backwards.
Lou was born in Arequipa, Peru and was raised there until 7 years of age. Lou then moved to Charlotte, North Carolina with her family. Lou would say she grew up in both countries because she still has a lot of memories of her childhood in Peru, as well as here. She chose AmeriCorps because after getting her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, she did not know if she wanted a Master’s in Political Science or try something else out. She had always loved working with children in educational programs, but could never do too much since it wasn’t her concentration. She thought AmeriCorps would be an interesting way to use her degree and explore a field she always loved. After AmeriCorps, she would love to continue working with children in this type of setting. She is keeping her options open but really looking into getting a Master’s in Education. Lou is passionate about helping people and being someone on which they can rely. She has always been very empathetic and always thought “why doesn’t someone do something” whenever she encountered some type of injustice in our system. I wanted to finally do something about a cause I’m passionate about, which is equity in education. In her free time, she loves to be active, decorate and rearrange her room, try new recipes and sometimes paint. She used to dance professionally for 10 years but quit when she had her SAT and a huge dance performance the same day and did terribly on her SAT because she was so nervous about her dance performance.
Martha was referred for an AmeriCorps position by Jannifer Pastorick, a former AmeriCorps member and current site supervisor, in September 2019, but didn’t have the time to give to the position. But, since that time, she always knew it was something she wanted to pursue. Martha chose AmeriCorps because she can pursue her passion which is serving children and families. After her AmeriCorps year, Martha would like to continue working with the CNNC in any capacity. She loves the populations that the CNNC works with and how versatile and flexible the work is. Martha is passionate about helping those who have been treated badly or downtrodden through mostly no fault of their own. She is also passionate about helping those who can help themselves but need that first little push. Martha likes to spend her free time with animals and children. She also likes to play soccer and spend time with her friends usually drinking coffee or going to Target. She likes to read when she has time. Something others might be surprised to know about Martha is that she drinks her coffee black and doesn’t usually drink more than one cup a day.
Christy’s family moved a lot growing up, but the places in which she most remembers living were Connecticut, Florida, and North Carolina. Christy chose to join AmeriCorps because she had previously done a year of AmeriCorps at a different organization and had a good experience. She recently graduated from grad school and wanted to do one more year to get more experience and serve the community. After her AmeriCorps year Christy would like to get a job in the Social Work field. She is passionate about social justice, lifelong learning, and helping others. Her free time is spent watching TV and movies, listening to music, and doing art projects. A fun fact about Christy is that she is good at whistling.