Serve Wisconsin 
August 2021 Newsletter
Governor Evers and Lt. Governor Barnes recognize outstanding service at 2021 Governor's Service Awards
Reflecting upon the significant impact that engaged Wisconsin citizens have made within the state, Governor Tony Evers stated that the 2021 Governor’s Service Awards would be “honoring nine Wisconsinites and five organizations in our state that are spearheading positive, impactful change through their service to the people of Wisconsin.” He continued, telling the honorees that they “have made a real difference thanks to your tireless efforts to support and help your fellow Wisconsinites. But your service is not only outstanding because of the impressive, quantifiable impact you have had in the number of students served, masks made, meals delivered, and many other important measures. It's also outstanding because of the compelling stories of the impact you have had on folks and entire communities across the state.”

In addition to the fourteen honorees, Jeanne Duffy, Executive Director of Serve Wisconsin explained a new addition to the annual ceremony, stating “we’re excited to start a new tradition this year by recognizing Wisconsin AmeriCorps Seniors who have served for 20 years or longer. It is with great pleasure that we recognize the hard work and dedication these 221 outstanding individuals have shown for their communities throughout the decades.”

Describing the impact of the service done by the honorees during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes said, “there have been so many significant challenges and setbacks for individuals for families and communities all across Wisconsin and this country. But your selfless and tireless work, did something to help improve the lives of many. And for that, I want to say thank you, because for a lot of folks, there were no other options and there was no one else to turn to. Without you, without your work, who knows what life would have been like for the individuals who have been on the receiving end of your service.” Lt. Governor Barnes then connected the efforts of the honorees with the service of countless others during the pandemic as a path forward, stating that their “service providing resources to fellow Wisconsinites is deeply appreciated not just by myself, but by all of us…Throughout these tough times, it has been the volunteers, just like honorees today, that have inspired us all to believe that an end to the pandemic is possible, and that everyone doing their part is the exact way that we achieve that goal.”

Information on each honoree, including service descriptions and spotlight videos are available at

September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance 
Be one of the millions to serve in recognition of 9/11 Day
September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance (9/11 Day) is a chance to help others in tribute to those killed and injured on September 11, 2001, first responders, and the countless others who serve to defend the nation’s freedom at home and around the globe.

Leading 9/11 organizations, AmeriCorps, 9/11 Day, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the Pentagon Memorial, the Flight 93 National Memorial, expect this year’s 20th anniversary of 9/11 to be the nation’s largest day of service in U.S. history. Their goal is to inspire a record 100 million acts of service and kindness in tribute to those killed and injured on 9/11, first responders, recovery workers, and members of our military community.

For those interested in either volunteering or creating a 9/11 Day project that others can join, please use the information below to help add your act of service to this effort.

Find a Volunteer Opportunity
  • Use the AmeriCorps Volunteer Search to find an opportunity near you. For volunteer opportunities for September 11, please enter #911 in the search box.
  • You can also search for local projects through the Volunteer Wisconsin website

  • You can create a free project listing through one of these three organizations IdealistJustServe, or VolunteerMatch, making sure to use #911 in the title of the project for it to be discoverable in search results for 9/11 Day

9/11 Day - AmeriCorps Information
Take our State Service Plan survey and tell us about your local needs to help focus our future service efforts
Serve Wisconsin is seeking input for our next three-year State Service Plan. The State Service Plan is our strategic plan that will assist us in focusing our efforts to to promote service, provide training and allocate resources to programs that enrich lives and communities through service and volunteerism.

We can use your help to to best understand the needs that currently exist throughout our state. Please click the link below to take a brief survey and tell us what your community needs. Thank you for helping us best support AmeriCorps and other service efforts in our state
Public Allies Racine/Kenosha launching as Wisconsin's newest AmeriCorps program
Wisconsin’s newest AmeriCorps program, Public Allies Racine/Kenosha, is getting off to a successful start, starting with their kick-off event on July 8, 2021. Auntavia Jackson, Public Allies Director of Southeastern Wisconsin Expansion described the event, saying “we had the opportunity to share about the way in which we plan to uplift young emerging leaders through professional and leadership developmental conversations/training while also having the opportunity for professional hands-on experience with partner nonprofit or governmental organizations.”
Looking at the impact that the new program could have in Southeastern Wisconsin, Jackson stated, “Public Allies Racine/Kenosha has the opportunity to create opportunities for young emerging leaders to live, work and play right in their own communities through a leadership and capacity building AmeriCorps program. We are looking for young emerging leaders who are passionate about engaging and activating their leadership capacities. Public Allies is a national movement committed to advancing social justice and equity by engaging and activating the leadership of all young people.”
Public Allies Racine/Kenosha is still accepting applications to part of its inaugural September 2021 cohort. Anyone interested in serving with their program can apply at Those wanting more information about Public Allies Racine/Kenosha can contact Auntavia Jackson at 262-331-1887 or [email protected].
PASS AmeriCorps member helping to cultivate knowledge and sustainability at Madison community centers
Knowledge and an abundance of plants are growing at the Madison School and Community Recreation Allied Community Center and the Meadowood Neighborhood Center thanks in part to the service of PASS AmeriCorps member Heidi Jimenez. Reflecting on her service over the past few months, Heidi said that “working with Roxanne Rios to get the MSCR Youth Community Garden Corps up and running has been the highlight of my summer. Some days were harder than others, but it was all worth it in the end”. She continued stating that helping lead “our Garden Corps members, the students and kids at both Meadowood’s and Allied’s Community Gardens, has been a very rewarding experience.”
Both community centers are home to garden plots that were tended to by local students this past summer, under the mentorship of Roxanne Rios, the MSCR specialist at Memorial High School. The mission of the program is to pass on gardening skills, therefore making the activity less intimidating and more accessible. Heidi enjoyed supporting the students over the summer and building upon some of her previous experiences, saying “I really enjoyed helping come up with and planning out each week's lesson. Being able to incorporate my sustainability knowledge that I gained from my years of work at Western Michigan University’s Office for Sustainability was personally fulfilling. Having the opportunity to pass on my knowledge and passion for the environment was great.”
In an interview for an article in the Capital Times about the Garden Corps project, Heidi said of observing the faces of the young gardeners light up during these activities, “between the high schoolers and the really little ones, they're fascinated every time they come in and they see something new," she said. "I love that feeling."
In years past, Oakhill Correctional Institute would donate plants to the Allied Community Center but no one had the skills or knowledge to maintain the garden, and the plants would wash away or be eaten by wildlife. Now with proper care and instruction, the gardens are in full bloom, and its amateur gardeners are well on their way to becoming experts at plant growing and harvesting. “Seeing the Garden Corps members grow along with the garden itself and to see their reaction every week to how the garden changed was an amazing feeling,” Heidi said. “Hearing some of the members calling themselves gardeners and wanting to start their own garden at home was very heartwarming. I love that I got to be a part of those moments and I can’t wait to continue with this program throughout the coming years.”

Easterseals Wisconsin AmeriCorps members complete another successful summer of camp for individuals with disabilities and their families
Easterseals Wisconsin camps provide fun, recreational opportunities for individuals with disabilities and their families in an accessible environment at Camp Wawbeek and Respite Camp while also providing respite to their caregivers and parents. This summer, Easterseals Wisconsin welcomed 18 AmeriCorps members who hail from across the country to help make a difference for others as part of the Easterseals Wisconsin camp program. Some of them were serving their first term at camp, while others were returning for additional terms of service to continue working with the campers for another summer.
AmeriCorps members serving with Easterseals Wisconsin provide intensive personal care and lead therapeutic, recreation-based activities for campers and ensure that campers have successful, enriching experiences. This summer these activities included swimming, canoeing, fishing, tie-dyeing, the Color Run, and many more. 
With COVID-19 protocols in place, the summer began for their AmeriCorps members with three weeks of training and then went straight into ten weeks with campers. In total, Camp Wawbeek and Respite Camp served 526 campers this summer and each AmeriCorps member served over 900 hours supporting the camp community.
Program leader Anna Korb expressed her gratitude for the impact her AmeriCorps members made this year, sharing, “Each member made a big impact with their service in response to camper/caregiver support and Easterseals Wisconsin program needs. I can say as a program leader this year, I couldn’t be more proud of our program and the efforts made by each of our members, especially during these times.”
PASS AmeriCorps members help Madison youth create a message for their neighborhood
Elver Park in Madison has a new mural on display thanks to PASS AmeriCorps members and their students. The powerful message is the shared vision of teenage students from the Elver Park Neighborhood Center, with the project being led by PASS AmeriCorps members Kayla Wasserman and Nicole Simon, along with their supervisor, PASS AmeriCorps alumni Ricky McAllister.
Describing the early stages of the project, Kayla Wasserman said, “Back in April, the teens walked down to Elver Park together where we decided on where the mural should go. To help create the sketch for the mural, the youth decided they wanted to include the fists, the capital, and they picked out the color scheme and the MLK quote.”
Over the course of summer programming, Kayla and Nicole worked with the students to sketch and paint the mural. By the end of the summer, the mural was completed, sharing the message from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that “The time is always right to do what is right.”
Reflecting on its completion, Kayla said “the youth are proud of the work they have put into the mural and now can admire it whenever they take a stroll through Elver Park.”
Become an AmeriCorps Member Today!
If you wish to engage in meaningful community service and acquire job skills, consider joining AmeriCorps!
To learn more about AmeriCorps or if you are ready to join and have questions about which program is right for you, contact us! We are happy to answer your questions and help you explore the different opportunities available. Program information is also available on our Serve Wisconsin website.
Please email us at [email protected] or call (608) 492-2928.
We look forward to speaking with you!
Calendar: Upcoming Events and Key Dates

  • September 6 - Labor Day (National Holiday - Serve WI office closed)
  • September 11 - September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance
Serve Wisconsin | | AmeriCorps