Over 1.5 million Missourians volunteer each year!
Each week, we will highlight a volunteer who is
making a difference in their community.

Nicolas Jones – February 22, 2021

Hannah is an AmeriCorps Member with Healing Action. She has been instrumental in helping provide services to survivors of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation in Saint Louis. She has worked with passion and dedication to assemble bi-weekly food boxes, to deliver basic needs, and to encourage and support survivors.

Recently, Hannah spearheaded a Valentine’s Day project to help the people Healing Action serves feel valued and loved. She gathered materials and launched an initiative with other team members to assemble gorgeous candy bouquets to be delivered to survivors. Hannah’s creativity and heart for others fuels her service. She is the perfect example of leadership through service!

To learn more about and AmeriCorps and how to join, visit www.AmeriCorps.gov

Nicolas Jones – February 22, 2021

Nick is a third year AmeriCorps college adviser with the Missouri College Advising Corps (MCAC) and has made a significant impact. In his position, Nick always looks for ways to better serve his students at STEAM Academy at McCluer South-Berkeley High School. He has collaborated with the local community college to establish the Emerson STEM program within his school. With the overall goal of the program being to increase college access, Nick has made it possible for his students to accumulate college credits free of charge while still in high school. From distributing program applications, meeting with students and parents, and creating class schedules to include dual enrollment courses, Nick is solely responsible for the program and takes great pride in the opportunity offered to his students. He is currently working on a handbook for the program so it can be sustained after his term of service is complete.

Nick is just as helpful on the MCAC East Region Team. He serves as a peer mentor, hosting weekly calls with 1st-year college advisers to help them set goals and adapt effective advising methods for their own partner schools. Nick also serves as a member of the National College Advising Corps CEO’s Advisory Council. The council provides an opportunity for advisers to inform the national organization’s approach to tackling issues/concerns among the national network.

To learn more about and AmeriCorps and how to join, visit www.AmeriCorps.gov

Maddie Bruegger – February 15, 2021

Maddie is an AmeriCorps member with The Literacy Lab. As a literacy tutor she works with students daily to reach grade level in reading. Maddie is a team player who has quickly become an integral part of the cohort and a source of positivity to others.

Over Thanksgiving break many of her fellow AmeriCorps Members played it safe by staying home to prevent the spread of Covid. Maddie didn’t want anyone to feel left out or disappointed about not seeing family so she dropped off home cooked meals to Member’s porches!

She not only goes above and beyond for her fellow service members but also for her students. She’s developed positive relationships with her students and families who are excited to see her every day! It has been a joy to watch Maddie take full advantage of her service year to make a positive impact on others and the community.

To learn more about and AmeriCorps and how to join, visit www.AmeriCorps.gov

Makayla Watson – February 8, 2021

Makayla, is a City Year Kansas City AmeriCorps Member, and she serves in a virtual 2nd grade classroom, supporting a classroom teacher and 30+ students in their learning. She makes phone calls to help get kids to class on time, and her students have made great strides in their attendance. In addition, she pulls students into breakout spaces to help them catch up on their reading, solve technology issues, or conduct social-emotional learning check-ins. She has been a consistent, positive presence in a year full of change, and she has done so while also fully supporting her peers on the team!

To learn more about and AmeriCorps and how to join, visit www.AmeriCorps.gov

Jeff Wyrick and Jordan Lebahn –
February 1, 2021

Jeff Wyrick and Jordan Lebahn are paramedics who serve in the St. Joseph area. When their company asked for volunteers to work extra time supporting a COVID-19 vaccine clinic, they stepped up. 

“So for me to be out here able to help the community to give back to the people that help to pay for us to do what we do… just feels good,” said Jordan. 

“Just getting to see smiles on people’s faces. It does give people hope and you kinda take a little bit of that smile away with you as you go,” Jeff said. 

All across Missouri, people are giving their time to support the vaccine effort, and with people like Jeff and Jordan helping, we will get through this!

-Portions of this story and photo originally published by KQ2.

Hannah Grigaitis

Hannah Grigaitis – January 25, 2021

Hannah always approaches her AmeriCorps service at College Bound St. Louis with a fervor and grace. Despite COVID-19, and the need to work remotely, Hannah hasn’t strayed from a challenge.

Hannah has developed a speaker series that is open to all of her students. She has recruited College Bound Alums, as well as other professionals in her community to come and speak to students about their college and career paths. This has been especially helpful to her students, because Hannah has developed different series on different careers. From engineering to nursing to attending a historically black college or university (HBCU) paths, students have had the ability to pick a series that really interests them.

Hannah has been nothing but passionate and optimistic through the planning and implementation of this series. She is hardworking and joyful through the service that she does, and College Bound is lucky to have her!