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GrandInvolve
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Jay Rachakonda

Story of Service: Jay Rachakonda

Jay Rachakonda has always loved building things, from robots to community partnerships. Jay fell in love with robotics and engineering from a young age, and wanted to make sure his peers had the chance to see the fun in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as well. When Jay learned about the barriers that kept his friends and classmates from participating in STEM activities, including required programs costs and COVID protocols, Jay became committed to finding ways to overcome challenges and inspire others to give STEM activities a try. Jay built on his long standing passion for STEM and robotics...
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AmeriCorps Assists After Tornado

Story of Service: AmeriCorps Assists After Tornado

When the devastating tornadoes swept through Appomattox County last week, hundreds of volunteers immediately appeared to support the affected families. Among the volunteers, 16 ready-to-serve AmeriCorps members were deployed to assist with debris removal and cleanup. Virginia State Parks Virginia Service and Conservation Corps AmeriCorps program worked alongside volunteers from the community and faith-based groups to lend a helping hand. The Conservation Corps normally serves at parks throughout Virginia to work on projects like trail building, volunteer recruitment, and interpretive programming. Their outdoor project skills make them ideal to serve during times of disaster. One member commented about how they...
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Aniyah Hubert

Story of Service: Aniyah Hubert

Congratulations to Aniya Hubert - winner of the 2020 Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Young Adult Volunteer! Aniyah, a senior at Averett University, began volunteering at a young age and continued throughout her high school and college career. She has served organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Bacon Street Counseling Center, Thrive Peninsula Food Pantry, Sister4Sister on campus service group supporting young girls, and online as a crisis textile to aide individuals experiencing trauma. A double major in Marketing and Psychology, Aniyah was just inducted in the National Society of Leadership of Success because of her high...
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GrandInvolve

Story of Service: GrandInvolve

Congratulations to GrandInvolve of Fairfax - winner of the 2017 Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Community Organization! For many economically disadvantaged schools in Fairfax County, getting consistent volunteers to help out in the classroom is an immense challenge. The innovative GrandInvolve program places older adults who offer their skills and talents to students directly into the area’s elementary schools. The seniors volunteer at the schools at least once a week for several hours assisting with reading and math, material preparation, library services, mentoring and kindergarten readiness. Each volunteer builds lasting relationships with the students by coming back...
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Karen Cullen

Story of Service: Karen Cullen

Karen Cullen has served Virginians for many years, professionally through her career in social services and by her prolific lifelong community service efforts. Since 2014, Karen can most often be found serving alongside other volunteers as the Food Pantry Director at Three Chopt Presbyterian Church. Under her leadership, the food pantry has gone from serving 25 families to 3,055 individuals each month. This dramatic increase is a direct result of Karen’s hard work, both in building capacity despite shrinking budgets and increasing need, as well as her commitment to inspire, mobilize, and support an entire community of volunteers. Karen’s innovative...
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The Berry Family

Story of Service: The Berry Family

The Berry Family of Harrisonburg, Virginia, saw a local need related to food insecurity in their area. Dubbed the "Brent Berry Food Drive," in honor of their son, Brent, the family took the initiative to help meet the need. This is a massive drive that they have conducted for 15 years, with the 2022 drive being the largest ever, collecting an estimated $65,000 in food and personal hygiene items for community members in need. They donate the collected items to the local Salvation Army, effectively stocking their pantry for a large portion of the year. Rather than being forced to...

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