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Red Cross in Oklahoma Welcomes This Year's AmeriCorps Members

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Today, our AmeriCorps members took their oath as they begin their year of service with AmeriCorps and the American Red Cross. This year also marks 20 years since AmeriCorps started across the country and its partnership with many community groups and non-profits like the Red Cross. Our newest members are Andrew Black, Janis Parker, Justin Green and Jennifer Pearsall. AmeriCorps is celebrating 20 years of service across the country

Andrew will be focusing on Youth/College program support. Andrew has a tremendous amount of experience working with college students, programs and initiatives due to the many leadership roles he served at OBU before graduating this past May.

Janis will focus on Disaster Workforce Engagement. This means she will help on-board, guide and mentor new Disaster Volunteers. She will help develop Regional strategies to keep our Disaster Volunteers engaged, implement the Regional Disaster Training calendar and keep up with which Disaster Volunteers are no longer active to re-engage them. This is a perfect role for her as she has been a Disaster Action Team Member with the Oklahoma City Program for 3 years, assisted the Disaster Program Specialist in the office once a week for 6 months, and been a DAT mentor for her program for several months as well.

Justin will focus on Disaster Preparedness in the Oklahoma City metro area. Everything from the HOME Kits project, the Pillowcase Project, standard Community Disaster Education presentations and more. Justin is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in public health and sees this as a way to get a look on how life saving information can be delivered in a multitude of ways to help our communities be safer. After being active military for 6 years, Justin had been a Red Cross SAF Volunteer for almost a year before joining us as an AmeriCorps Member.

Jennifer will also focus on Disaster Preparedness in the Oklahoma City metro area. Jennifer is a veteran of two previous (non-Red Cross) AmeriCorps programs as well as serving as an Outdoor Education Instructor for a YMCA in Michigan. Be warned though: She is also an active Karate Instructor, so don’t cross her.

While all 122 AmeriCorps NPRC Members serving with the Red Cross across the county have their own specific focus, they are all also mandated to be part of their local Disaster Action Teams as well as have a hand in Preparedness education in their local communities.