An #AmeriThanks for our Greater Bay Area VIPs

Brenna Schlagenhauf

Brenna is a passionate contributor to the success of mission-driven organizations with outstanding strategic communications. She holds a B.A. in Communications and a master’s degree in Public Administration, with emphasis on nonprofit management, and 20 years’ experience in marketing, communications and public relations with nonprofit and for-profit businesses.

Reflections on a year of volunteer initiative building.

A huge community-wide #AmeriThanks, and recognition, go out to the 2020-2021 AmeriCorps VIP Fellows of the greater San Francisco Bay Area! For the past 11 months, this cohort of outstanding individuals helped build and foster volunteer programs and community engagement throughout the Bay Area. 

Working To Build Nonprofit Capacity 

The team served independently, each working with a unique nonprofit, to develop, implement and expand volunteer programs that strengthen organizational capacity. Their work addressed critical needs in our Bay Area communities – from supporting supply drives for fire victims, to setting up Covid-19 testing sites, to organizing national days of service that promote and engage civic-mindedness.  

They also worked together, combining their skills and talents to initiate key public events: 

  • Beach cleanup at Doran Beach, Bodega Bay, CA 
  • Garden restoration at Sonoma Community Garden (Larkson Park), Sonoma, CA 
  • Park restoration/landscaping at Andy’s Unity Park, Santa Rosa, CA 

Bringing Experience & Skills To New Horizons

With a graduation celebration behind them, the cohort will be wrapping up their service this week and heading off to new horizons. We wish each one of you the best, and we thank you for your dedication and commitment to bettering our communities. We know your experiences, talents and skills will continue to bring each of you much success in all that you do.   

Meet The AmeriCorps 2020-2021 VIPs Here

Words Of Thanks From Keely McCormick, AmeriCorps VIP Team Lead

A leading topic in our recent VIP graduation was the appreciation of the kindness and skill everyone in our cohort brought to their service. I know everyone will go very far and achieve wonderful things. I am so excited to watch them all as we begin life after AmeriCorps.  

Thank you so much to Julian, Ashley, Will, Sarah, Laura, and Beth for all the wonderful work you accomplished this year! From organizing supply drives for fire victims, to planning days of service, to helping those experiencing homelessness get back on their feet, there are not enough words to describe all the wonderful things this cohort has accomplished this past year. I will miss you all! Keely McCormick, AmeriCorps VIP Team Lead, Sonoma County & Greater Bay Area  

Words of Thanks For Our CVNL AmeriCorps VIP Members

CVNL would like to share a special thank you to the VIP members who served directly on our team. You all helped us achieve so much and your impact did not go unnoticed! Thank you, Keely McCormick, Beth Sherbo, and Laura Galang

I have had the pleasure of working with Keely for the past year. She is a driven, organized communicator who develops inspiring relationships with those around her and their communities… As the AmeriCorps VIP cohort lead, she learned and then presented best practices in volunteer management and nonprofit professionalism.  

She naturally inspires others to learn about themselves, discover their talents, expand their potential, and share and apply their skills in serving others. Her contributions have created a strong and rich foundation for future service capacity and opportunities.

 Jessica Grace-Gallagher, Sonoma County Manager, Volunteer Services at CVNL 

Beth is such a gem. I’m grateful that she dropped everything in her life in the Midwest to move to California to serve as a VIP member. During a year where I thought we wouldn’t have any in-person Days of Service, Beth led CVNL’s efforts to host a large Earth Day of Service that was focused on fire prevention and interagency collaboration in Central Marin. Because of that event, more efforts just like it are being developed throughout the county! Beth also played a key role in recruiting and onboarding COVID vaccination volunteers in Sonoma County. Thank you, Beth! 

– Elaine Tokolahi, Director, Volunteer Services at CVNL 

Laura has been a pleasure to have on our Solano team. She strengthened our team and capacity from her very first day of service. Her knowledge and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging was refreshing, and she continuously taught me new things. She addressed auditing all the organizations on the Solano volunteer portal and has made a tremendous impact on gaining new organizations, developing new partnerships, and reconnecting with organizations. She took the task and made it her own. Her professionalism and commitment to Solano Volunteers exceeded my expectations and has been so impactful for the organizations and volunteers. 

– Rhonda Rochon-Smith, CVNL Program Coordinator, Solano Volunteers 

Join AmeriCorps & Serve Community

Recruitment is underway for the 21-22 AmeriCorps VIP Fellow cohort. In return for 11 months of service, AmeriCorps Fellows receive an annual stipend, education award, health care coverage, and more. Learn more here.  

Applications are due August 15, 2021

Click here to check out more volunteer opportunities at volunteernow.org