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Volunteer Tennessee Board gives $6.2 Million in AmeriCorps Grants to 20 Tennessee Organizations
July 7, 2021

NASHVILLE – Volunteer Tennessee, Tennessee’s governor-appointed commission on volunteerism and service, today announced that Tennessee received nearly $6.2 million in AmeriCorps funding from AmeriCorps, the federal agency responsible for AmeriCorps and other national service programs.

These grants will support 1,095 AmeriCorps members across the state to serve with 20 organizations. AmeriCorps members will tackle critical challenges in Tennessee, including tutoring and mentoring children, providing health services, restoring the environment, increasing economic opportunities, and recruiting and managing volunteers.

“National service is an essential part of the solution to many of the toughest problems facing our state,” said Donovan Robertson, Board Chair of Volunteer Tennessee. “These AmeriCorps members will meet pressing local needs and strengthen communities as they develop civic and leadership skills to last a lifetime. I congratulate these outstanding organizations and thank all those who serve their communities through AmeriCorps.”

Of the $600 million awarded nationally, $6.2 million will be granted to Volunteer Tennessee, which in turn will award grants to nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the state. The law creating AmeriCorps gave a key role to states in determining how national service resources are used and in promoting service and volunteering to meet community needs.

AmeriCorps’ unique model means that the grants announced today will leverage an additional $17.8 million from the private sector, foundations, and other sources – further increasing the return on the federal investment.

AmeriCorps will provide over $6 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants in Tennessee. After completing a full term of service, AmeriCorps members receive an award of approximately $6,500 that they can use to pay for college or to pay off student loans.

The recently passed American Rescue Plan includes an additional $1 billion for AmeriCorps. The agency will use this investment to expand national service programs into new communities and increase the opportunity for all Americans to serve their country.

Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through over 21,000 schools, nonprofits, and community and faith-based organizations across the country. These citizens have played a critical role in the recovery of communities affected by disasters and helped thousands of first- generation college students access higher education. They also tutor and mentor young people, connect veterans to jobs, care for seniors, reduce crime and revive cities, fight the opioid epidemic, and meet other critical needs.

As the federal agency for volunteering and service, AmeriCorps brings people together to tackle the county’s most pressing challenges. Since the agency’s inception in 1994, nearly 1.2 million AmeriCorps members have served the nation. In Tennessee, more than 16,000 Tennessee residents have served approximately 30 million hours through AmeriCorps, earning Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards totaling more than $60.6 million.

Below is a listing of 2021 AmeriCorps grants in Tennessee:

• AmeriCorps*Building Futures – AIM Center
Funding Awarded: $48,093
Total AmeriCorps Members: 3
AIM Center AmeriCorps members will help address the stigma of mental illness while serving at the AIM Center. Members will holistically address the basic human needs for meaningful relationships, self-sufficiency and community reintegration for people in the greater Chattanooga area with a psychiatric diagnosis.
Contact: Lucy White, (423) 702-8013,

Project Inspire – Public Education Foundation Funding Awarded: $339,873
Total AmeriCorps Members: 30
Project Inspire is a teacher residency that attracts and prepares aspiring teachers through a year-long, real-world experience in the classroom. Members will serve 5 days a week throughout the entire school year at select host sites, and members will also earn a graduate degree (M.A.T.) through the 14-month program at Lee University.
Contact: Mark Neal, (423) 668-2425,

Teach For America: Nashville-Chattanooga
Funding Awarded: $165,000
Total AmeriCorps Members: 165
Teach For America believes that all children deserve the opportunity to attain an excellent education. They recruit, train and place outstanding teacher leaders into classrooms serving low-income children throughout Davidson and Hamilton County.
Contact: Megan Lemming,, (615) 242-6263 ext. 40132

Appalachian RC&D Council
Funding Awarded: $243,379
Total AmeriCorps Members: 10
Appalachian Resource Conservation & Development Council AmeriCorps members will provide outreach, education and training on health and wellness, nutrition, food access, cooking, gardening, food preservation, and/or entrepreneurship in communities served by their host sites located in multiple East Tennessee counties.
Contact: Rachel Armor, (423) 427-0547,

Appalachian Regional Coalition on Homelessness
Funding Awarded: $235,200
Total AmeriCorps Members:17
Appalachian Regional Coalition on Homelessness AmeriCorps members aim to reduce homelessness by providing a combination of housing and social services in the Appalachia region of East Tennessee.
Contact: Anne Cooper, (423) 218-4090,

KNOXVILLE • CAC AmeriCorps – Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee
Funding Awarded: $676,500
Total AmeriCorps Members: 137
CAC AmeriCorps is Tennessee’s only environmental corps. CAC AmeriCorps members serve to improve public lands, streams, and greenways; educate the public; meet immediate human needs through disaster response; and build the volunteer capacity of partner organizations. Contact: Jason Scott, (865) 546-3500,

Community Action Fellows – Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee Funding Awarded: $60,420
Total AmeriCorps Members: 30
Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee’s Community Action Fellows will focus their attention on Covid-19 pandemic recovery efforts in East Tennessee. AmeriCorps members will tackle learning loss in education by engaging K-3 students in reading interventions. Members will also address food insecurity by providing shelf-stable, cold and hot meals to the most vulnerable and isolated populations in the community.
Contact: Jason Scott, (865) 546-3500,

• T.E.A.M. – Emerald Youth Foundation
Funding Awarded: $231,431
Total AmeriCorps Members: 55
T.E.A.M. AmeriCorps members serve urban young people by leading structured afterschool and summer day camp activities (academic, enrichment, leadership, health activities, and mentoring) alongside the staff of a faith-based organization. The goal is to see young people become contributing leaders and live a full life.
Contact: Rachel Davis, (865) 637-3227 x112,

• Bridge Builders Expansion – BRIDGES USA, Inc.
Funding Awarded: $197,705
Total AmeriCorps Members: 32
BRIDGES' mission is to unite and inspire diverse youth to become confident and courageous leaders committed to community transformation. Bridge Builders Expansion addresses key needs facing Memphis area youth in grades 6-12 through experiential learning and the facilitation of the Bridge Builders curriculum that targets low academic performance and graduation rates, low rates of cultural competency, and low rates of opportunity for meaningful civic engagement.
Contact: Tosca Nance-Jones, (901) 260-3790,

City Year Memphis – City Year, Inc.
Funding Awarded: $804,908
Total AmeriCorps Members: 52
City Year Memphis helps students and schools succeed by helping 1st through 9th graders thrive in school and contribute to their community. Diverse teams of AmeriCorps members serve as student success coaches, helping students cultivate social, emotional and academic skills that lead to greater academic success and improved high school graduation outcomes. City Year Memphis AmeriCorps members will be responsible for providing whole school support to approximately 2,000 students and individualized services to 420 students in 7 Memphis public schools.
Contact: Hannah McFarland, (310) 266-3280,

Generations – Porter-Leath
Funding Awarded: $303,840
Total AmeriCorps Members: 12
Generations AmeriCorps members will increase school readiness by providing educational enrichment activities for Porter-Leath Early Childhood students in the agency's Head Start centers in Memphis and Shelby County. The AmeriCorps members will also leverage over 120 additional volunteers that will be engaged in literacy initiatives in the same centers. Contact: Judy Rautine, (901) 577-2500 x1128,

Impact America - Tennessee
Funding Awarded: $89,572
Total AmeriCorps Members: 8
Impact America - Tennessee AmeriCorps members will implement substantive service- learning projects related to health and economic opportunity throughout Tennessee, primarily around Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. AmeriCorps members will conduct free vision screenings for young children in Head Start and daycare centers; children who fail the screening receive referrals for follow-up care services. Additionally, members will prepare tax returns for low-income households and recruit, train, and manage volunteers serving at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites.
Contact: Hunter Keane, (855) 459-1923,

Memphis Teacher Residency
Funding Awarded: $635,430
Total AmeriCorps Members: 46
Memphis Teacher Residency (MTR) recruits outstanding leaders as co-teachers for Memphis' most academically-challenged public schools. MTR’s mission is to positively impact student achievement in Memphis urban schools by recruiting, training and supporting outstanding teachers. All AmeriCorps members are placed in Memphis' Title I schools that have an enrollment that is more than 50% Free or Reduced Price Lunch assisted.
Contact: Suzanne Oates, (901) 937-4683,

Teach for America: Memphis
Funding Awarded: $185,000
Total AmeriCorps Members: 185
Teach For America believes that all children deserve the opportunity to attain an excellent education. They recruit, train and place outstanding teacher leaders into classrooms serving low-income children throughout Memphis and Shelby County.
Contact: Patrick Maloney, (508) 641-8233,

• The Relay New Teacher Pathway – Relay Graduate School of Education
Funding Awarded: $127,165
Total AmeriCorps Members: 145
AmeriCorps members participate in the innovative teacher preparation program, the Relay New Teacher Pathway, in Nashville and Memphis. AmeriCorps members will be prepared and certified to serve as teachers of record, and the 3,625 historically underserved K-12 students they teach will demonstrate improved academic performance, better attitudes about school, and improved behavior and classroom engagement.
Contact: Kristal Wimberly, (917) 753-6716,

• Community Cares – Tennessee’s Community Assistance Corporation Funding Awarded: $300,564
Total AmeriCorps Members: 42
Community Cares is a multi-focus program that addresses important problems communities of poverty face, including helping seniors and people with disabilities live independently; preparing and distributing food for people in need; and providing youth engagement services to disadvantaged youth under 18 years of age.
Contact: Rebecca Grubb, (423) 586-7636 x 310,

Hands On Nashville
Funding Awarded: $489,000
Total AmeriCorps Members: 31
The Hands On Nashville AmeriCorps Program engages civic-minded individuals in yearlong terms of national service at a local nonprofit, government department, or civic agency. Throughout their terms, AmeriCorps members build the capacity of local programs to achieve greater impact while receiving skills and professional development training that help them understand and engage with the nonprofit community.
Contact: Nicki Avila, (615) 298-1108 ext. 409,

• THRIVE – Martha O’Bryan Center
Funding Awarded: $281,106
Total AmeriCorps Members: 21
The Martha O’Bryan Center empowers children, youth, and adults in poverty to transform their lives through work, education, employment, and fellowship. AmeriCorps members serve in one of six program areas: K-8 Youth Education, High School Education, Post- Secondary Success, Adult Education, Family Support, and Community Engagement. Members build relationships, tutor, teach, plan curriculum and enrichments, and perform community outreach and engagement.
Contact: Nate Kerr, (630) 408-7547,

Metropolitan Development Housing Agency
Funding Awarded: $97,797
Total AmeriCorps Members: 6
The Metropolitan Development Housing Agency serves the citizens of Nashville, currently providing safe, decent, and affordable housing to thousands of families. AmeriCorps members will serve in one of three program areas: Education, Economic Opportunity, and Healthy Futures. AmeriCorps members will work with residents to improve job readiness, secure employment, build capacity for independent living, and increase health knowledge. Members will also help students to improve their social and emotional skills.
Contact: Vanessa Melius, 615-780-7085,

Appalachia CARES – Clinch-Powell Resource Conservation & Development Council Funding Awarded: $692,338
Total AmeriCorps Members: 71
Appalachia CARES is a state-wide, community-based, service-learning program that engages participants in community learning opportunities with a direct link and focus on COMMUNITY, ACTION, RESPONSIBILITY, EDUCATION, AND SERVICE, the cornerstones of the Appalachia CARES program. Appalachia CARES AmeriCorps members are placed in partnering community-based organizations where they provide capacity- building, volunteer engagement, and direct service to local communities by developing, organizing, and implementing service-learning activities that address unmet housing and energy efficiency needs.
Contact: Trenna Brown, (423) 620-3456,

Volunteer Tennessee is the Governor’s commission on volunteerism and service. Its mission is to encourage volunteerism and community service. Annually, Volunteer Tennessee provides more than $6 million in AmeriCorps grants and volunteer center grants to local agencies throughout the state so they can engage volunteers to meet community needs in education, environment, public safety, human needs, and homeland security. The commission consists of a 25-member, bi-partisan volunteer citizen board appointed by the Governor and eleven State Government ex-officio positions. For more information, visit or visit on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

More than 4,000 people of all ages and backgrounds are helping meet local needs, strengthen communities, and increase civic engagement at more than 700 national service locations across Tennessee.

AmeriCorps, a federal agency, brings people together to tackle the country’s most pressing challenges, through national service and volunteering. AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serve with organizations dedicated to the improvement of communities. AmeriCorps helps make service to others a cornerstone of our national culture. Learn more at

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