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AmeriCorps Members Build Stronger Community Ties Through Dedicated Service

Row One: Lauren Pease, Ella Stephens, Nora Kohnhorst, Talia Harrison, Ella Labarre Row Two: Audrey Deligan, Sara Booher, Evie Caperton, Andy Chestovich, Faye Henn

This summer, 18 AmeriCorps members are making a lasting impact in the Grinnell community. Connected and facilitated through the Grinnell Education Partnership, this collaboration has expanded the capacity of seven community partner organizations, delivering high-quality youth arts and literacy programs and supporting food and resource networks.

Enhancing Food Access and Resources

Working to strengthen the community’s social infrastructure, three AmeriCorps members are dedicated to improving food access, aligning resources, and developing systems for better service delivery. They are working with Drake Community Library (Susan Rivera), Grinnell Food Coalition (Katie Witt), and Grinnell Housing Authority (Alex Dixon ’26).

Creating a Supportive Learning Environment

Fifteen AmeriCorps members are enriching the summer experience for Grinnell area youth by working with five independent community youth programs. These programs include LINK Grinnell, SLICK (Summer Learning is Cool for Kids), Grinnell College Museum of Art (GCMoA), Drake Community Library (DCL), and at Grinnell Area Summer Camp (GASC) at Grinnell Community Early Learning Center. AmeriCorps members serving at these youth programs include:

  • DCL: Evie Caperton ’25

  • GASC: Sara Booher ’25

  • GCMoA: Faye Henn ’26 and Nora Kohnhorst ’25

  • LINK: Betel Aga ’27, Warren Bingcang ’27, Georgia Carbone ’24, Mary Higgins ’25, and Kylie Klassen

  • SLICK and LINK: Andy Chestovich ’26, Talia Harrison ’27, Ella Stephens, Audrey Deligan ’25, Lauren Pease, and Ella LaBarre ’26

A Personal Experience

Pictured: Ella Stephens on left and Lauren Pease at SLICK and LINK.

Ella Stephens, a Grinnell High School graduate and University of Michigan student, is in her third year serving as an AmeriCorps member in Grinnell. She reflects, “Being part of both SLICK and LINK is incredibly rewarding. Forming relationships with the students and seeing their literacy skills improve week to week is special. The mentorship and friendship from teachers, group leaders, and fellow AmeriCorps members are invaluable.”

Stephens' story underscores the personal connections and meaningful impact AmeriCorps members have on the community. These dedicated individuals contribute to essential initiatives and form lasting relationships that benefit both youth and their mentors.


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