Celebrating our AmeriCorps Site Coordinators in 2011
Our LIFT Site Coordinators are responsible for the day-to-day operations of their centers and the cultivation of our community partners including human service organizations, universities, schools, government entities and businesses. They work tirelessly to make their local communities aware of LIFT and the many ways we work to improve the lives and opportunities of individuals and families. They are at the frontlines tackling our country’s most difficult issues and the torchbearers who ensure that LIFT’s mission and core values are paramount in all that we do, and because of their passion and dedication, we celebrate their contributions and accomplishments in FY11.
Emily Triggs, LIFT-Boston, Roxbury Office
Emily Triggs completed a two-year AmeriCorps service term in June. As a Site Coordinator at the Somerville office, she skillfully led all aspects of programming including volunteer management, strategic communications, partnership building and client service. In the fall of 2010 she spearheaded the expansion efforts that launched the new LIFT-Boston office in Roxbury, which has since provided case management services to over 300 clients. Working on her own as the Site Coordinator for the new Roxbury site, she took the lead identifying and managing strategic partnerships with 50+ nonprofit referral organizations, three major universities and Boston Public Schools to facilitate LIFT’s growth in the Boston region. She also played a key role in building LIFT’s partnership within the City of Boston’s Circle of Promise Initiative.
Emily recently landed a great position with the Nonprofit Finance Fund where she will have the opportunity to utilize her outreach and communications abilities to continue to serve those in need by helping nonprofits strengthen their financial health and improve their capacity to serve their communities. Upon departing from LIFT, she reflected, “Working to support families with LIFT has been personally and professionally a transformative experience filled with learning and appreciation for these local communities.”
Emily made a meaningful and extensive impact on the LIFT-Boston region and she will be greatly missed by her clients, colleagues and volunteers. We wish her every success in her future career in the nonprofit sector.
Brittni Reilly, LIFT-Boston, Cambridge Office
Prior to joining LIFT, Brittni had experience mentoring youth, including working in one of Philadelphia’s most deprived neighborhoods serving meals, organizing clothing drives and volunteering at neighborhood literacy camps, and also working for the non-profit artMOBILe in New Bedford, MA, providing free art lessons and projects to children in the community. Having done service-learning both in school and her personal life, for Brittni, working as an AmeriCorps member was a logical step in a career path that was already focused on service.
At LIFT-Boston’s Cambridge office she has recruited, trained and managed a diverse volunteer corps, primarily from Harvard University and Lesley University. She has expanded LIFT’s mental health services through a partnership with one of Cambridge Health Alliance’s Adult Psychiatry residents, and has organized a number of client and community events for the Cambridge office. Brittni has been a key support person for the LIFT-Boston Bike Project, which provides affordable transportation alternatives in the form of bikes to low-income individuals in exchange for community service. She was also the top regional fundraiser in the “Why I LIFT” fundraising campaign this past spring.
Rilwan Ajayi, LIFT-Boston, Cambridge Office
Rilwan was first attracted to AmeriCorps because of the opportunities to give back to his own local community and to explore new communities. Rilwan had heard so many uplifting stories from past members of AmeriCorps, and he wanted to challenge himself along with learning from the professional development experience that the service offered.
In his role at LIFT-Boston, Rilwan is most passionate about his work with the volunteers. Being able to guide a volunteer, help them ensure a successful client meeting, or aid them in their professional development is truly a rewarding experience for Rilwan. This allows him to constantly challenge himself, lead by example, and as a result, build long lasting relationships with the volunteers.
Alyssa Motai, LIFT-Boston, Somerville Office
Alyssa came to LIFT-Boston after serving as a Corps Member for City Year. During her tenure at City Year, Alyssa saw firsthand all the ways that a child learns in a classroom, but she routinely witnessed how learning was affected for children who came to school hungry or whose families were being evicted from their homes. She saw these issues impact their school work and wanted to work for an organization that helped support the families so a child’s academics were not influenced by their home life. Continuing service through AmeriCorps by joing the LIFT-Boston team was a natural progression for Alyssa.
In the last year, Alyssa has led several important projects in the Somerville office, including SomerPromise, the VITA tax program and the successful recruitment of 30 new volunteers. By the close of recruitment, the LIFT-Somerville office boasted a team of 60 trained volunteers and 11 languages spoken among those volunteers. Alyssa says, “I am highly impressed with the work they do for our organization and I’m always eager to see what other talent they will be bringing to LIFT.”
Robyn Leslie, LIFT-Boston, Somerville Office
Robyn Leslie joined AmeriCorps because she believes that “service is an incredible way to learn about our society and that AmeriCorps provides an excellent pathway to service for young people and helps instill the value of service.” Inspired by her prior volunteer service helping individuals with tax returns at Ohio Benefit Bank of Oberlin, OH and further engagement in human service learning when she wrote her thesis at Oberlin College on the public assistance safety net in five cities, Robyn wanted to continue her study and involvement in these programs. LIFT was a natural fit.
Since she began last year, Robyn has spearheaded the management of the successful VITA tax site at the Somerville office, which generated nearly $700,000 in returns for clients this year and instantly placed money back into the pockets of community members. Robyn has also guided the Somerville Lawyers Project, which provides free high-quality legal assistance to LIFT clients who would otherwise not be able to afford these services. She has pushed the importance of communications and public outreach in the community and with other service organizations, partnering with Emerson College students on a marketing and media plan and also through another social service program, Somerville Gives Back.
Zach Carroll, LIFT-Boston, Roxbury Office
A new graduate of Northeastern University, Zach comes to LIFT-Boston with previous experience at Vinfen, a non-profit which provides housing options for adults with mental issues. He has also worked for LIFT as both a Development Associate and Student Director, and was initially attracted to LIFT because of the importance the organization places on its student advocates and the tremendous impact the student advocates have in the lives of others. As a Site Coordinator at the Roxbury office, Zach hopes to ensure that the quality of client service LIFT provides is spectacular by helping new volunteers transition into their advocate position and making sure they feel confident and comfortable in all of the work they perform.
Caitlin Payne, LIFT-Boston, Roxbury Office
Caitlin comes to LIFT-Boston from Tufts University, where she studied Community Health and International Relations. She was an advocate at LIFT-Boston’s Somerville office all four years of her college career, where she was exposed to both the needs and assets of the Somerville community, and developed the skills to holistically address these issues and utilize these community resources when working with clients to create a path out of poverty. In her work as a Site Coordinator at the Roxbury office, Caitlin looks forward to getting to know local Boston neighborhoods by addressing the range of challenges that affect so many families there. She also hopes to help cultivate a thriving local office with countless client successes.
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