August 20, 2012 - Three City of Knoxville departments will have helping hands for the next 11 months, thanks to the Knoxville-Knox County CAC AmeriCorps program.
|Left to Right: AmeriCorps members Cassie Garner, who is working with the Office of Solid Waste; Sara Slovak, who will be working on greenway maintenance; and Eden Slater, who is working with the Office of Neighborhoods.
The local AmeriCorps program places 40 members each year with partner agencies, all with a focus on environmental issues. The three members joining the City are: Sara Slovak, who will be working on greenway maintenance through the Parks and Recreation Department; Cassie Garner, who will be focused on recycling programs in the Office of Solid Waste; and Eden Slater, who will help the Office of Neighborhoods develop local disaster preparedness plans.
"The City is proud to continue our association with CAC AmeriCorps," said Mayor Madeline Rogero. "This is a great program that brings enthusiastic young people to do hands-on work that helps our entire community. I'm happy to welcome Sara, Cassie and Eden, and I know they will enjoy their time with the City as much as we will enjoy having them here."
The federal AmeriCorps program started in 1993, and Knoxville-Knox County CAC organized the local program in 1994. It is financed through a combination of federal grants, CAC funds, and payments from partner agencies including the City of Knoxville. AmeriCorps members are selected from a nationwide pool of applicants and matched to local programs around the country based on their interests and skills. They receive a minimal living stipend and an education stipend they can use toward student loans or future tuition.
Sara Slovak, 21, grew up in Connecticut and graduated from Keene State College in New Hampshire this spring with a Bachelor of Science degree in occupational safety and health. "I'm really looking forward to being out on the greenways, helping the community enjoy their trails," she said.
Cassie Garner, 24, is from South Dakota and graduated from the University of South Dakota with a double major in business administration and Spanish. "I'm excited to see the steps Knoxville's taken to promote recycling," she said. "I've always recycled at home and promoted it everywhere I've worked. I'm looking forward to getting more people thinking about it and involved in it."
Eden Slater, 22, is from western Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Missouri with degrees in communications and international studies. "It will be great to work with different communities and neighborhood groups, and learn about how they all work together and hopefully help them work better," she said.
For more information about the CAC AmeriCorps program, contact John Harris at Knoxville-Knox County CAC, 546-3500.