Uniting America: Notable Volunteers pt.2

February 24, 2012
Melissa Brown Uniting America AmeriCorps Fellow


A local senior from Joliet Catholic Academy, Katie Chiergatti, has been helping me without me even asking. She has put together an advertisement that highlights our events and volunteer opportunities, and she wrote an article for her local newspaper about the center and for volunteer recruitment. After her article was published she had a meeting with her entire newspaper staff about the Center and what Uniting America is about and the events and programs that we offer. She was able to recruit 4 volunteers and has collected 7 dresses for our prom drive. She has been doing outreach for me at school and through her peers. She came with us on the bus and volunteered at the Integration Summit and said that she was inspired by everyone that it made her want to help more because she is quite aware of the immigrant population in her community. She is committed to helping out at our prom event and our 5k, her motivation is inspiring to me.

      I have also had another volunteer, Reynaldo Jasso, who himself is an immigrant. His family came here 25 years ago and has had to struggle to become successful in the United States. His Mother came here to the Spanish Community Center for help with English many years ago. He is able to relate to what immigrants are going through here and that is his motivation for volunteering. For the Integration Summit he talked to a lot of people about what they were going through and was able to share stories and tell them that they could find help.  He has been helping me with outreach for our events and publicizing them to the Immigrant communities. He reaches out to immigrants and makes them feel comfortable about coming to the Spanish Center and looking for services. Reynaldo and his personal experiences truly touch other people to seek services and to volunteer.