The Virginia Service Commission, in partnership with the Virginia Service Foundation, honored national service members and volunteers at the Virginia National Service Awards on March 8, 2022. Four members and volunteers serving with AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors programs in Virginia were individually recognized for their contributions to their communities honoring the passion they have for those they serve and their outstanding dedication in their commitment to service.
The Virginia Service Commission leads national service and community volunteerism efforts for the entire state, including funding, supporting, and promoting national service opportunities. “As the lead agency for national service and community volunteerism in the Commonwealth, we at the Virginia Service Commission have the privilege of being “plugged in” to these inspiring acts,” notes Kathy J. Spangler, director of the Virginia Service Commission. “Every AmeriCorps member and volunteer makes a difference, and we are grateful to be able to recognize these four individuals for their outstanding service to Virginians.”
“These members are helping to meet local needs, strengthen communities, and increase civic engagement through national service,” said Clifford Yee, Chairman of the Virginia Service Foundation. “We are so pleased to be able to honor these outstanding members of the year and to express our thanks to the thousands of additional members serving across our state!”
Honorees of the 2022 Virginia National Service Awards are:
AmeriCorps Seniors – RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program)
Tami Stukey, Alexandria In the wake of the pandemic, Tami Stukey has made a commitment to serve with many organizations who are helping those grieving the loss of loved ones due to COVID-19. Serving with AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP – Northern Virginia for nearly three years, she has channeled her own personal losses into advocacy and service in hopes of helping others who have had similar experiences. She serves as a Friendly Caller for Shepherd’s Center of Fairfax/Burke, an organization which helps older adults continue to live independently in their own homes, Tami has gone above and beyond during the pandemic to check in on other seniors on a regular basis.
AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America)
Margaret Corum, Richmond Margaret Corum has played a major role in the development of the Virginia Department of Social Services’ (VDSS) Recovery Ally Hub. She contributed to the content, layout, look and feel, topics, and interviews for the innovative project and has played a major role in disseminating the information and delivering trainings. Margaret has committed to serving for a second year as a VISTA member which has enabled her to take her first-year knowledge and provide more nuanced and compelling evidence for positive systems change. Her unique combination of communications skills and direct experience working with marginalized populations has been critical to helping DSS staff and partners better serve families that are struggling with substance use.
Frank Adames, Alexandria Frank Adames first served as an AmeriCorps VISTA which then led to an exciting full-time position and rewarding career for himself. In this new role, Frank worked to help thousands of individuals continue to receive increased access to critical services in his community through HopeOneSource. The organization has assisted nearly 30,000 people with discovering verified services to address their unmet needs in northern Virginia and the DC region. During Frank’s time of serving, volunteer, and now working at HopeOneSource, the organization experienced 3,000 percent growth, while the nation's capital experienced an 80 percent reduction in hypothermia.
Lily Christenson, Arlington As an AmeriCorps member with Aspire! Afterschool Learning, Lily Christenson’s patience and creativity helped her students grow during a difficult year. When most people were home, Lily came in every day to serve her students. Her assistance with middle school students was ground breaking as it was the first year for Aspire to serve this age group during the school year. Lily adapted curriculum and resources normally used for 3rd - 5th graders and made it relevant for her students.
The Virginia National Service Awards are presented by the Governor’s Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism, the Virginia Service Foundation, and Virginia Service Commission. These organizations are charged by the Governor with recognizing Virginians who have significantly contributed to the life and welfare of the Commonwealth and its citizens. Additional information about the program and full bios on this year’s recipients can be found online at https://virginiaservice.virginia.gov/2022/02/2022-national-service-awards/.