Congratulations to Lucy Cummins of Richmond – winner of the 2021 Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Young Adult Volunteer! The Health Brigade, a free clinic in downtown Richmond, became a vital resource for many as COVID-19 infections began to rise in Central Virginia. Lucy Cummins may have originally stepped into her role as a patient navigator to assist with Spanish interpretation and translation services, but quickly pivoted to address and overcome a number of challenges presented by the pandemic. Putting aside her own academic needs in developing her translation skills, Lucy got to work helping to get their COVID testing clinics off the ground.
Designing a safe and efficient system for the COVID testing program from the outset was a huge challenge in order to work around all the other regular services provided by the agency. Once the system was developed, the implementation involved the nuts and bolts of accumulating needed supplies including life-saving PPE and managing the physical set-up and take-down of tents, tables, chairs, etc. Most importantly, Lucy ensured that volunteers were safely and efficiently prepared to work with the flood of individuals who came from throughout the community for services.
Lucy assisted in the recording of vital records and data to ensure that patients received the proper care and provided much-needed medical interpreter services following the sudden loss of the clinic’s previous interpretation service. Not only was she able to give comfort and reassurance to patients, but she also took charge of developing a strong interpretation plan for future needs. Lucy helped to organize a cadre of interpreter volunteers and was also instrumental in providing training around gender inclusive interpretation.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Lucy continued to be a volunteer leader with quiet determination, a collaborative approach, and an unwavering commitment to the underserved Latinx community. She has served countless hours helping to care for those who are sick, vulnerable, and stigmatized — always treating every single patient with dignity and compassion.
Congratulations to Capital One Coders of Richmond - winner of the 2021 Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Corporation! Capital One Coders grew out of an idea that was sparked in 2014 by a Capital One staff member who saw a gap in computer training in K-12 classrooms. The company created Capital One Coders to inspire students from all walks of life to consider computer science as an attainable and exciting career path. In partnership with public schools and other youth-serving nonprofits, the program helps middle school students cultivate a greater interest in computer science during a critical...
Story of Service: Doug Mueller
Congratulations to Doug Mueller, one of the many dedicated Virginia volunteers who was nominated for the 2023 Serve Virginia Honor Roll, which spotlights the volunteers that serve their communities in a variety of ways, promoting quality of life and creating a lasting impact for others across the Commonwealth! In early 2020, when Doug began volunteering at the Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve near Portsmouth, Virginia, he had retired from a job in the U.S. government and was mourning the death of his 95-year-old father just months earlier. Doug recalls, "Dad was standing by my side when I enlisted in the U.S....
Story of Service: Samantha Bradley
Teaming Up with an AmeriCorps Member to Make Her Dream of a Military Career Come True Teresa Thompson, an AmeriCorps member with the Carroll County Public Schools Lift Up AmeriCorps and winner of the 2015 Robert E. Wone Award, recently shared an inspirational story about the impact of national service on a young person in her program. Teresa says student Samantha Bradley described herself in the past as a troubled teenager, but completely changed her outlook after the birth of her son. Working up to three jobs in addition to attending school where she excelled in her school work, Determined...
Story of Service: Miriam Farris
Igniting a Passion for Learning for Struggling Students Miriam Farris is an AmeriCorps member and tutor with The Literacy Lab - Virginia Reading Corps program at Elizabeth Redd Elementary School in Richmond. Redd is a Title I school, which means that a high percentage of its students come from low-income families. Miriam reflects on a recent experience she had working with a struggling student. "I serve fifteen students each day, some of whom are immigrants and English language learners (ELL)," explains Miriam. "My ELL students speak Spanish at home, and they rarely have the benefit of parental reinforcement when it...
Story of Service: Kimbra Staten
Kimbra, with the Rappahannock Goodwill - Goodskills Literacy Corps Americorps program in Fredericksburg, says the experience has opened up a whole new world to her. "I've had an exciting service year and as I begin on my second term I am elated on what I will discover about myself and others that I tutor," she says. "The most rewarding experience is meeting and interacting with a diversity of people. This volunteer position has enlightened me in enormous ways. Between the personal development training, conferences, workshops and online studies -- I feel confident that AmeriCorps will propel me into being an...