Community Corps Members Appointed to State Board

December 29, 2023

Two current Community Corps members, LuTia Colbert and Whitney Andrastek, were recently chosen to participate in the Wisconsin National and Community Service Board (WNCSB). This board aims to, 'promote, train, and allocate resources to programs that enrich lives and communities through service and volunteerism.' LuTia and Whitney will both be serving as Youth Service Participant Representatives, educating others about the importance the impact of AmeriCorps programs can have on Wisconsin communities. 

Both LuTia and Whitney have never participated in something quite like this before and felt that it would be an excellent way to further advocate for the importance of AmeriCorps:

"I applied to the position because it is something I have never done before, and it sounded like a great opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at AmeriCorps and learn about internal processes of AmeriCorps at the state level." ~Lutia Colbert

"I joined the board as a way to gain more experience and hopefully learn more about the impact that AmeriCorps has. AmeriCorps offers so many different opportunities and a chance to be part of a state board seems very special, especially at such a young age." ~Whitney Andrastek

Whitney will be participating in the Outreach and Public Policy Committee, and LuTia will be participating in both the Public Policy committee and the State Service Plan Committee.

 

 
LuTia Colbert serving with New Leaf Foods in Green Bay, WI   Whitney Andrastek serving with NAMI Manitowoc County in Manitowoc, WI

 


 

Recovery Corps Members Advocate for Others Around the Holidays

December 29, 2023

During the month of December, two MCHS Recovery Corps members spoke out about the difficulties those in the recovery community may face during the holiday season.

Jenn Podeweltz, serving at Marshfield Medical Center - Weston, was featured in an article by WSAW discussing alcohol consumption around Christmastime. Jenn shared that planning ahead for holiday gatherings and events can really help set someone in recovery up for success. “Know what would make them feel uncomfortable and really have those conversations before you have your get-togethers so everybody can go in there and feel like they can all have a good time, and everyone’s included and nobody feels pressured in any way.” Jenn even goes on to share more about how everyone can evaluate their drinking habits. Check out the full article here.

Christian Johnson, recovery coach at Marshfield Medical Center - Eau Claire, also had an opportunity to share his perspectives on the difficulties of navigating the New Year's holiday for those struggling with addiction. Christian shared, "It's very easy, especially for alcoholics, to see all the alcohol around, during the holiday and say, you know, it's Christmas, it's New Year's Eve, I'll just do it this one time, and then you do do it that one time, and then it rolls downhill in a very negative way, and traps you back into that lifestyle." He even went on to share some tips for staying sober and his contact information for anyone who may someone to support them through the holiday. Check out the full article here.

*Image by master1305 on Freepik

 


 

Members and Staff Gather for Fall Meet-Up Event

October 20, 2023

 

After successfully kicking off the new term of service virtually on September 11, 2023, MCHS AmeriCorps members and staff from across the state gathered in Stevens Point for the Fall Meet-Up. This one-day event intended to bring Community and Recovery Corps members together for some networking, motivation, and support to successfully carry out their service terms.

Motivational speaker Paul Wesselmann, also known as The Ripples Guy, opened the day with an active session on making a positive impact in the communities we serve, both for ourselves and for others. Members also participated in Question, Persuade, Refer Training with Christina Garcia, a session that taught attendees how to recognize someone in a mental health crisis and then get them the proper care they need. Lastly, all attendees, staff and members alike, had time to come together, converse, connect, and truly share in the AmeriCorps experience.

Attendees of the event walked away saying “It was SO nice to be able to meet everyone and get to know everyone on a more personal level!” and “It was awesome connecting in person pushing us out of our comfort zone.”  All in all, it was a successful day that left everyone excited for the next opportunity to get together in person. With nearly 100 members enrolled across Community Corps and Recovery Corps combined, this event was a great kickoff to an even better year of service.

 


 

Recovery Coaches Speak Out at Northwoods 'Light Up the Night' Recovery Event

September 28, 2023

September is National Recovery Month and two of our own Recovery Coaches honored the month at a local event. Shirlee Knox and Erika Brigham attended 'Light Up the Night' in Rhinelander, Wi with many local mental health, addiction, and recovery organizations, and even had the opportunity to be interviewed by local news. Check out the full story here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Successful Service Term Comes to an End

September 6, 2023

Group of individuals with hands raised in the air

The 2022-23 AmeriCorps term of service came to an end on August 31, 2023, with a total of 58 Community Corps and 17 Recovery Corps members successfully completing their term. Each individual dedicated their time to serving communities all across the state of Wisconsin, making a positive impact in all areas of public and community health – substance use prevention and recovery, mental health, environmental health, youth development, food security, nutrition, access to resources, health equity, and so much more.

While the endless individual stories of service are what truly speaks to the impact that was made, there are a few astonishing statistics that help to paint the picture of the service that took place. Throughout nearly 12 months, members across both programs completed a total of over 100,000 hours of service! This time included providing support to 45 Community Corps and 12 Recovery Corps non-profit, host site organizations and leveraging over 4,250 volunteers.

Furthermore, members from each program celebrated a few unique accomplishments. Recovery Coaches maintained relationships with 102 individuals in the community, guiding them through their own recovery journeys. 7 of our Community Corps members completed the Community Health Worker training through Milwaukee Area Health Education Center with 5 additional members beginning the training as well.

Several individuals even chose to extend their commitment of service for another term. 22 Community Corps and 11 Recovery Corps members will be returning to serve with us for the 2023-24 service term. The returning members will join a lively new cohort of individuals starting on September 11, 2023.

A special thanks to all who made this past year a success. We could not support such a successful program without Federal AmeriCorps, Serve Wisconsin, Marshfield Clinic Health System and their staff, non-profit organizations from across Wisconsin, site supervisors and, last but certainly not least, our dedicated AmeriCorps members.

 


 
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