CEDAM’s AmeriCorps Members

Nicholas Bruckman, Outreach & Small Business Educator, Owosso Main Street

Nicholas’s service focuses on fostering an active and thriving downtown Owosso by promoting historic preservation and drawing future movement and upward growth. Specifically, Nicholas is providing support to female small business owners through providing training and technical assistance, and hosting pop up events to highlight businesses. Nicholas joined AmeriCorps because he wanted to serve the greater good by helping cultivate a thriving, loving and accepting community. He is fluent in French, focuses daily on the well-being, expansion and growth of himself and the world around him.

Amelia Byle, Veggie Box Specialist, Allen. Neighborhood Center

Amelia serves by assisting with Veggie Box, a weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) distribution that provides fresh fruits and vegetables to community members twice a week. Amelia trains and coordinates volunteers, develops promotional materials, including its subsidized program, and facilitates relationships with local farmers and Veggie Box members. Amelia is a previous intern at the Allen Neighborhood Center under the CSA program. She recently completed her Bachelors in Environmental Studies and Sustainability and a minor in Environmental Economics. Some of her hobbies include gardening and making beaded jewelry and clay creations.

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Chanavia Clayton, Financial Stability Specialist, Southwest Economic Solutions

Chanavia seves as the Financial Stability Specialist of Southwest Economic Solutions. In this role, Chavania connects Detroiters to a variety of financial stability and homeownership opportunities. A recent graduate from Specs Howard School of Media Arts, she decided to become an AmeriCorps member because she saw it as an opportunity to learn, grow and help others, while also helping herself. Chanavia is a second year member who is committed to being a lifelong learner.

Chelsea Davis, Healthy Housing Specialist, CLEARCorps Detroit 

Chelsea serves at CLEARCorps Detroit as a Housing Specialist. She is a Detroit native who studied Social Sciences at Aquinas College. Chelsea is passionate about eliminating educational disparities amongst minority groups. One of her greatest accomplishments includes supporting her daughter to receive a full scholarship to Hamilton College. Chelsea chose to serve with CLEARCorps because she identifies closely with their mission and felt that she was at a point in her life where service made sense.

Conor Durkin, Adult Literacy Navigator, Washtenaw Literacy

Conor supports Washtenaw Literacy’s adult literacy program by managing all aspects of the learning center. His responsibilities include program development, volunteer management, and outreach and marketing. He expands offerings to include specialized programming in emergent community needs and increases usage through creative planning and implementation of programs. Conor joined AmeriCorps in order to advance literacy and ESL learning in his community. In his off time, Conor enjoys vinyl record collecting and biking long distances.

Chenee Gooden, Healthy Housing Specialist, CLEARCorps Detroit

Chenee serves as the first point of contact for low-income families seeking applications for energy efficiency and healthy home repairs at CLEARCorps Detroit. Her service impacts Detroiters by improving the health of family members and increasing financial stability through more affordable utility bills. Chenee joined AmeriCorps to bring awareness to available resources that help bring people closer to meeting their goals of equitable and safe communities. She enjoys traveling and abstract photography.

Michael Howe, Affordable Housing Navigator, Neighbor by Neighbor

Michael serves low-income residents of southwest Berrien County by connecting people with assistance programs including those for rent/mortgage and utility bills, vehicle repairs, and home repairs. He is the point of contact for homeowners and is responsible for scheduling and participating in assessment visits for residents, gathering paperwork and documentation, and/or linking them to other community services. Michael joined AmeriCorps because he’s not ready for retirement yet, and wants to serve other seniors in his community. In his free time he enjoy cooking, gardening herbs and vegetables. He enjoys being outdoors in any weather.

Charles Jones, VITA Site Navigator, Wayne Metropolitan Action Agency

Charles connects neighbors to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and free tax credits. His goal is to increase participation before and after tax season. He surveys neighbors and creates informational flyers. He organizes and facilitates FAQ coffee hours and provides expertise to neighbors regarding tax returns He also identifies locations in underserved neighborhoods to conduct VITA & tax credit presentations. Charles joined AmeriCorps to help others and create positive change while gaining new skills. In his free time, he loves to study philosophy and garden.

Tanea Marshall, Programming Outreach Specialist, Home Repair Services of Kent County

Tanea serves by leading residents through home repair and financial stability triage. In this role, she ensures residents’ files are completed accurately and swiftly, while suggesting additional community services for residents if needed. Additionally, she coordinates and manages logistics for Home Repair Services’s Show Me the Money Day community resource fair including contacting new and existing community partners to be vendors, providing outreach for the event, and recruiting volunteers. Tanea joined AmeriCorps because of her love for people, and the want to foster self-sufficiency. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and caring for children.

Kayla Olson, Food Access Coordinator, NorthWest Initiative

Kayla serves supporting food access programs and leading in managing volunteers for those programs. She supports twice-monthly food distributions including picking up food, creating new partnerships with local grocers and farmers to grow donations, and nurturing current partnerships. Kayla joined AmeriCorps to form stronger connections with her community, meet new people and grow her professional skill set. Kayla loves to learn new things, visit farmers markets, and cook new recipes. Her favorite hobby is planning elaborate, themed dinner parties with items she finds thrifting. She has a bachelor's in Sociology with a minor in Finnish Studies from Finlandia University,

Dorothy Rhodes, Tax Credit Coordinator, Senior Neighbors

Dorothy serves by connecting residents to free tax assistance programs and tax credit education in underserved neighborhoods to increase knowledge of local resources. She streamlines and improves current processes of connecting with resident referrals, gathers information, conducts screening questions, and schedules residents for tax credit assistance appointments. She identifies neighborhoods and agencies at which to conduct presentations on free tax assistance offerings and other resources. Dorothy joined AmeriCorps because of her love for senior citizens and her desire to be an asset to a company. In her free time, she enjoys shopping and spending time with her grandchildren.

Alexxa Standifer, Garden Resource Coordinator, Crim Fitness Foundation

Alexxa serves by supporting the School Gardens Coordinator in hosting monthly school garden committee meetings. She also coordinates with school stakeholders to plan, plant, and supports the maintain nine school gardens. She facilitates evidence-based garden and food education lessons to elementary school students and their families. She also ensures that food grown in school gardens are utilized by students, families, and community residents. Alexxa joined AmeriCorps to help the community she grew up in. She’s excited to know that her job is making an impact and that every day's goal is to work towards a healthier and happier Flint. Alexxa is currently attending the University of Michigan- Flint majoring in psychology and minoring in early childhood studies.

Jennifer Tompkins-Guerra, VITA Site Coordinator, United Way of South Central Michigan

Jennifer joins CEDAM for a 4th term of service with CEDAM’s AmeriCorps at United Way of South Central Michigan. In her role as VITA Site Coordinator, she recruits and trains volunteers, manages free tax assistance sites, and steps in as needed to complete free tax returns. Jennifer will serve as this year’s LeaderCorps member. She has a passion for community service and enjoys teaching and leading others.

Cynthia Able, Volunteer Specialist, Brilliant Detroit

Cynthia serves as the Volunteer Specialist for Brilliant Detroit. In this role, she supports the organization with its goal of building kid success in Detroit neighborhoods by identifying new volunteer opportunities, recruit and train volunteers, and creating efficiencies within the volunteer program. Cynthia is an AmeriCorps VISTA alum who describes the experience as the “best job of her life”. She brings an energetic personality to the position and loves to dance.

Carla Thomas, Affordable Housing Navigator, Bridging Communities, Inc.

Carla serves by assisting with affordable housing initiatives along with educating neighbors on free tax preparation services and tax credits available to them. She reaches out to underserved neighborhoods and current Bridging Communities, Inc (BCI) clients to increase knowledge of local resources. Carla provides marketing and outreach for BCI’s programs, leads presentations, provides one-on-one tax service referrals, and contributes in the development of a resource directory to be used for client community-based referrals. She also provides homeowner intake and data entry for the Delray Home Improvement Program. Carla joined AmeriCorps because she enjoys learning and helping others.