Joining an impressive cohort of Hobart and William Smith alums serving AmeriCorps, five recent graduates will dedicate a year to supporting underserved communities throughout the United States.
Kevin Collado ’18 will combat food security in the City of Geneva as the first AmeriCorps volunteer dedicated to the issue in Geneva. His work will build on his previous experience within the Finger Lakes Region interning as a social justice liaison for Rural and Migrant Ministries and volunteering with America Reads. “I look forward to tapping into the incredible community resources that currently exist in Geneva,” says Collado. “I strongly believe that effecting positive change is possible when a community comes together to improve the lives of every one of its community members, and I know that there are a variety of people and organizations in Geneva who are consistently working toward this same goal.”
Collado majored in architectural studies, served as a Resident Assistant and a coordinator for the First Generation Initiative, worked for Information Technology and participated in the Environmental Studies Summer Youth Institute. Collado was a member of the Hobartones, the Colleges Chorale and Cantori, and the Latin American Organization.
Alexandra Robbins-Jackson ’18 will serve students in Geneva, N.Y. through her role as a community conflict mediator at North Street Elementary School. Robbins-Jackson will provide a variety of conflict resolution services and help teach youth positive ways of dealing with conflict. She is the second alum to join the Community Mediation School Corps, along with Clayton Lyons ’17 who will begin his second year in the AmeriCorps position with Geneva High School.
A psychology major and political science minor, Robbins-Jackson concentrated her studies on law and child-advocacy. In 2017, she interned for the CASA of Rochester/Monroe County, Inc., a non-profit organization that trains and supervises volunteers to advocate for children who have been abused or neglected. “Through the Salisbury Center for Career Services, who helped me land an internship, the course “Developmental Psychopathology” with Associate Professor of Psychology Julie Kingery, and service opportunities in Geneva made possible by CCESL (Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning), I realized I wanted to be a part of a program that works from the ground up to make an impact in the lives of children.”
Samantha “Sammy” Ruthazer ’18 is creating educational opportunities in Boston, Mass., as a tutor for students struggling academically, socially and with attendance. “Serving with AmeriCorps is a valuable experience because I want to continue working and advocating for people who are not always given a voice,” says Ruthazer, who is interested in working as a juvenile law advocate.
A sociology major, Ruthazer was president of Second Chances Prison Education program, interned for Legal Assistance of Western New York’s office in Geneva, worked for Information Technology, served as an Orientation Leader and Mentor, was Co-President of the Koshare Dance Collective and volunteered with the American Red Cross. She also studied abroad in Grahamstown, South Africa where she volunteered in local townships tutoring children in K-8 grades.
Sadeek Walker ’18 will serve students in Wilmington, Del., as a tutor. “AmeriCorps is a pathway for personal and professional growth in a new environment with new challenges,” says Walker, who is interested in pursuing a career in public service in the future. “HWS equipped me with the confidence to seek new learning opportunities. I look forward to learning about the students I will work with, my peers and the Delaware community.”
A political science major, Walker served as president of Alpha Phi Alpha and the Caribbean Student Association at HWS. He previously interned for Sen. Kristin Gillibrand (D – NY), a London legal aid office during his semester abroad, and the City of Mount Vernon, N.Y.
Lauren Workman ’18 will help women with low-incomes to achieve financial freedom and independence through her work as a program coordinator at Budget Buddies, a nonprofit located in Chelmsford, Mass. “Service has always been a huge part of my life and this opportunity allows me to combine all my passions,” says Workman, who will work with teen girls and intends to pursue a career in public service. “I am looking forward to being in an environment where women are pushed to excel to all that they can be.”
An anthropology and environmental studies double-major, Workman studied abroad in Hanoi, Vietnam, and in Bali, Indonesia. The HWS Civically Engaged Student of the Year, Workman interned for Rural and Migrant Ministries, and advocated for food justice as a member of the HWS Greens Growing Project and the Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty. She also served as a tutor with America Reads and as president and founder of Girl Up, an HWS organization dedicated to advancing women’s rights.
These new alums join classmates Hilda Agyekum ’18 and Aidan Ely ’18, who will work next year in the city of Rochester, N.Y., as AmeriCorps volunteers.
Hobart and William Smith are among just 100 institutions across the country that match 100 percent of AmeriCorps education awards for currently enrolled students. Additional information on AmeriCorps and other service opportunities for HWS graduates is available here.
Collectively, HWS students contribute more than 80,000 hours of service and engagement annually to local, national and international communities, and generate approximately $110,000 in fundraising efforts for non-profit organizations.
In the photo above, Kevin Collado ’18 (left), Samantha Ruthazer ’18, Sadeek Walker ’18, Lauren Workman ’18 and Alexandra Robbins-Jackson ’18 pose for a photograph.