Bruce Lamond is a second-year Virginia College Advising Corps adviser at Mecklenburg County High School, which just opened in 2022. He served in the Marine Corps for several years before graduating from the University of Virginia in 2022. During his military service, Bruce became passionate about youth mentorship, prompting him to pursue a degree in Youth and Social Innovation and to step into several student support roles at UVA. “I learned about AmeriCorps and VCAC in my senior year of college when an assistant director of VCAC presented on the program in one of my classes,” recalls Bruce. “As soon as she started talking about the program, I knew it would be a good fit for me personally and professionally. When I was applying to college, I was very fortunate to have people in my life help me with the process and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pay it forward.”
Bruce has quickly gained the trust of students at MCHS and individually assisted over one-third of MCHS’s class of 2023 with a college application, resulting in the class submitting a total of 504 applications. One of his students reports that, “Mr. Lamond has made applying for college much easier and less stressful. Without him I wouldn’t even know where to begin. He’s been a lot of help to me.” In addition to his role as the school’s college adviser, Bruce coaches Mecklenburg’s soccer and basketball teams. In a recent evaluation, Bruce’s supervisor wrote, “Bruce has done a great job establishing the VCAC position here at MCHS. He does great at relationship building with students.”
“The opportunity to serve with VCAC has impacted my life in so many ways, but the relationships I have with my students is by far the most impactful,” says Bruce. “I came into this position knowing that I would like to work in higher education, but working with this population has opened me up to the possibility of continuing this line of work. Even being a small part of their personal journey to college and beyond is a true privilege.
HERO Club of Amherst County High School
Story of Service: HERO Club of Amherst County High School
Congratulations to HERO Club of Amherst County High School - winner of the 2020 Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Educational Institution! When Amherst County High School student Alannah Wilson started the HERO (Helping Everyone Reach Out) Club four years again, she never dreamed the ripple effect it would have. She founded the student-led organization during her freshman year with a two-fold goal: answering people's questions about disabilities and how those disabilities affect people, and facilitating self-determination and self-advocacy. The club has grown to 30 volunteers, both students and their family members, annually. Membership is comprised of students...
Virginia Cancer Specialists of Arlington
Story of Service: Virginia Cancer Specialists of Arlington
In Arlington, when low-income uninsured patients need cancer care, they have a wonderful option: Virginia Cancer Specialists of Arlington (VCS) -- winner of the 2016 Governor's Volunteerism Award for Outstanding Small Business. Without VCS, these patients would likely not receive the cancer treatment they need, which can often cost more than $50,000 a month. Fortunately superior care is provided because VCS believes that health care for all community members is a human right and that, as members of the community, VCS is responsible for helping anyone in need, regardless of that person’s ability to pay. VCS is an outstanding partner...
The Stewart Family
Story of Service: The Stewart Family
Congratulations to The Stewart Family of McLean -- winner of the 2017 Virginia Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Volunteer Family! Finding affordable dental care is a huge challenge and, too often, the result is that families with limited income suffer from poor dental health. The Stewart Family of McLean has made meeting this vital need a family mission -- to help build and sustain a dental program that provides free services to adults and children who could not otherwise afford care. Through the Arlington Free Clinic, George and Connie Stewart -- and their children Julie, Joy, Jenny,...
Story of Service: Jim Morrison
Recently volunteer Fire Chief John Morrison of Vienna was named the Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year by the International Association of Fire Chiefs. John was instrumental in the development of a Volunteer Management System uniting all 12 Fairfax County volunteer fire departments into a single portal to share resources, metrics and information. The IAFC has honored one volunteer and one career firefighter annually since 1996. The Fire Chief of the Year award goes to a person who has "shown exemplary contributions in the areas of leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity, public service, and contributions to the fire service,"...
Backpacks of Love Cumberland Elementary School Coordinators
Story of Service: Backpacks of Love Cumberland Elementary School Coordinators
Congratulations to Backpacks of Love Cumberland Elementary School Coordinators of Cumberland County -- winner of the 2017 Virginia Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Educational Institution! Backpacks of Love, Inc., was born out of a personal mission from its founder Bobby Fulcher, who personally struggled with food scarcity while growing up. Backpacks of Love provides wholesome food to school children in the counties of Powhatan, Cumberland, and Buckingham, so that they don’t go hungry over the weekend. Backpacks of Love’s highly engaged board members collect all donations, distribute food items to schools, and solicit community and corporate sponsors....
Story of Service: Amber Matkowski
My experience with AmeriCorps was truly life changing. I completed two years of service, during my junior and senior year at Christopher Newport University. Alternatives Inc. is such a warm and friendly organization to work with. They made it a priority to train us not only to be thorough workers, but to be passionate advocates, exceptional leaders, and supportive team members. They showed me the importance of knowing your program and your team inside and now. By the end of my AmeriCorps service, I felt like I could quickly and efficiently solve problems and take on big challenges. I am...