May 2016 Newsletter

Letter from the Editoramericorps-logo


Memorial Day is to remember those brave people who served, fought and paid the ultimate sacrifice to insure our freedom. I saw something in the news recently that amazed me. Ron White, a navy veteran, memorized more than 2,300 military members and their ranks that fought and died in the Afghanistan War and proceeded to spend over ten hours writing each of those names and ranks on a memorial wall. He first did this at Fort Hood, Texas in 2013. This year he did it in Colorado. He aims to write names of fallen service members it in all fifty states. I hope everyone who had a long weekend had a nice extended weekend.


Deborah’s DeskDeborah sm 2

“An individual without information cannot take responsibility; an individual who is given information cannot help but take responsibility”, Jan Carlzon, Chief Executive Officer of SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) Group from 1981–1994.  

This quote was in my Daytimer this week and it really struck me as truth.  So many of us don’t have the information we need to complete a task, to get to a goal, to dream big, or to simply find a place to live or a job.  Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know–that is, we aren’t aware that we are missing information.  Just think of seeing something done on the computer in a new or different way than the way you did it; or learning about a new resource in the community.  We say, aha! that sure helped.  Our AmeriCorps Members are sources of information for so many people each year that they encounter in our NCWorks Career Centers or out in the community.  Our Members have the expertise in helping job seekers find jobs, how to register in NCWorks Online, how to apply for jobs, and how to prepare yourself for a job interview, or merely to be present to that individual’s situation.  Our Members also have learned about the resources in the community to help with housing, clothing, food, cars, and many other things that many of us take for granted.  In this way, our AmeriCorps Members are able to provide information to an individual, and then the individual must take responsibility to put that information to work.  Some do; some don’t.  Sometimes it’s not immediately evident that the individual has taken the information and done something with it.  We may never know, but I do know that being a resource, an advisor, and being present to someone’s situation is of invaluable service.  That is the work of our AmeriCorps team.

Beth’s Bio’s

Adjective Name: Jovial JustinJustin

Hometown: Wilson, NC

Placement Site: Swinburne

What led you to doing a year of service with Access Workforce Development?

I saw it as an opportunity to positively impact my community, while also strengthening my own career development.

Do you have a favorite memory so far?

One Word….…Monica……but the other guys and lady-guys at Swinburne are alright too!

If you had $1,000,000 and had to donate it to one charity, which would you choose and why?

The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), an organization that strives to increase the number of minority students studying engineering and promotes public awareness of engineering and the opportunities for minorities in the profession. Many of their projects include activities such as tutorial programs, high school/junior high outreach programs, workshops, newsletters, career fairs, banquets and an annual national convention.

Who or what motivates you when you’re having a rough day or going through hard times?

Novelist Chester Himes once said that “Realism and absurdity are so similar in our lives, one cannot tell the difference.” I find it to be a refreshing thought that can change my perspective of a situation.

If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive) who would you choose and why?

My Grandmother, a truly extraordinary person who loved all and was beloved by everyone she met.

What’s one song you listen to that always makes you happy?

It depends on the situation but usually Bombs over Baghdad by Outkast


Adjective Name:  Sympathetic Sylviasylvia

Hometown:  I was born in Oregon, but lived in various states growing up.  I came to this area from Tucson in the late 80s.

Placement Site:  Cary

What led you to doing a year of service with Access Workforce Development?

I have always wanted to work in some sort of public service program.  One of my fellow graduate students at NCSU had done this program at Fuquay-Varina, so that’s how I found out about it.

Do you have a favorite memory so far?

I don’t have one particular memory, but there have been times when someone comes in sad, frustrated or even scared, and after I have helped them with a resume, or job search or referral, they feel more hopeful and empowered than when they arrived.

If you had $1,000,000 and had to donate it to one charity, which would you choose and why?

I think I would choose a charity that goes into schools and teaches life skills like mindfulness, self-esteem, tolerance, etc.  to children.

Who or what motivates you when you’re having a rough day or going through hard times?

A sense that there is an underlying meaning and purpose to life.

If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive) who would you choose and why?

Jesus.  If he wasn’t available then maybe Leonardo Da Vinci.

What’s one song you listen to that always makes you happy?

Truth of Touch on Live at El Morro by Yanni

Bridgette’s Board


 Mike’s Muse: 25 FactsMike Profile

  1. Sean Connery was filming a love scene when his co-star’s gangster boyfriend got jealous and pulled a gun on him. Connery grabbed the gun from his hand and twisted the guy’s wrist until he ran off the set.
  2. Louis Armstrong asked Richard Nixon to carry his bags through customs for him because he ‘was an old man’. The bags had marijuana in them.
  3. Seinfeld’s iconic theme song was not recorded on a slap bass and each episode had a unique intro that synced with Jerry’s stand-up routinecubes_and_spheres_by_thepiratess
  4. A philosophy riddle from 1688 was recently solved. If a man born blind can feel the differences between shapes such as spheres and cubes, could he, if given the ability, distinguish those objects by sight alone? In 2003 five people had their sight restored though surgery, and, no they could not.MTE1ODA0OTcxNDQ0MDQ1MzI1
  5. Julian Lennon had to buy the letters he wrote to his father (John Lennon) at an auction, because Yoko Ono wouldn’t give them to him.
  6. Scientists at UCLA noticed that “time and time again” people suffered their first experience with anxiety or depression right after stomach illnesses. They did brain scans after patients ate probiotics, and found that stomach bacteria actually directly affected connectivity of the brain.
  7. Harvard has a pigment library where the sources of rare colors are stored. These sources include ground shells of now extinct insects, poisonous metals, and wrappings from Egyptian mummies.
  8. Yoni Freedhoff, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, was dropped from delivering a speech on “what the food industry could do to improve public health” – because he exposed the deceptive marketing used by top brands. So he released it on YouTube (found here) and got 300,000 views.
  9. A carrot farmer trying to cut back food waste (over half of carrots produced are too ugly for grocery shelves) carved & created the first batch of ‘baby carrots’ using a green bean cutter. 30 years later, these carrots account for 70 percent of all carrot sales. jon-snow-crop
  10. Journalist Jon Snow declined an OBE (Order of the British Empire) because he believes working journalists should not take honors from those about whom they report.
  11. The Peter Principle: Employees tend to be promoted based on their performance in their current role, not how fit they are for their next role, so that every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence
  12. Rollercoaster loops are never circular, but instead, are designed with an upside down “teardrop” shape. This is because perfectly circular loops will subject riders to up to 6Gs of g-force, causing them to get injured.rollercoasterloops
  13. The Normandy beach landing scene in Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan cost $12Million alone, employed use of over 1,500 extras and has been rated ‘the best battle scene of all time’ by Empire magazine.omaha-04-large
  14. Squirrels plant thousands of new trees each year simply by forgetting where they put their acorns.
  15. You have holes in your bottom eyelids. The punctum drains excess tears into your nose, which is why your nose runs when you cry.
  16. China has deforested most of its historically wooded areas. A law promulgated in 1981 requires that every school student over the age of 11 plants at least one tree per
  17. It is possible to only have high blood pressure in the doctor’s office and it is called “White Coat Syndrome”
  18. The cost of the “Prometheus” movie budget would be enough to keep the search for real extraterrestrial life going for 52 years
  19. The price of a bottle of Coca-Cola stayed at a nickel for over 70 years. As a result, vending machines only took nickels, and before raising prices to a dime the president of the company asked President Eisenhower to mint 7.5 cent coins to keep the increase reasonable.
  20. In 1859, an American farmer in the San Juan Islands shot a pig who was eating his potatoes, but the pig happened to belong to a British colonist. In the ensuing confrontation, 461 Americans and 14 artillery faced 5 British warships with 70 octopuscannons and 2140 men. The only casualty was the
  21. A baby octopus is about the size of a flea when it is born.
  22. “Detroit-style pizza” is a style of chewy pizza that is baked in a square pan, which is often not a pizza pan but instead a tray that originally was made to hold small industrial parts in factories.SliderGlutenFree
  23. New Jersey lifeguards can retire when they’re 45 years old with a lifelong pension of up to $61,000.00/year. And when they die, the payments continue on to their dependentsNeutron_star_illustrated
  24. A teaspoon of matter taken from a neutron star would weigh around 10 billion tons, which is similar to the weight of an average earth mountain.
  25. The German language has a word for an improvement that makes things worse: verschlimmbesserung

 Clint’s Coverage: The JungleIMG_20141024_173710

This month we visited to the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh (CAM). Our team was able to see an art exhibit which some of our customers may very well be no stranger to. The exhibit was Phil America: Failure of the American Dream. Phil America had voluntarily lived in a homeless camp in San Jose, California, previously known as The Jungle, for a 13221490_579004628968672_480773344211795149_nmonth. His mission was to bring to light not every American achieves the national ethos of the American Dream: prosperity, success, and an upward social mobility for one’s family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers.

Since America’s experience, the camp has been disbanded and it has been returned to nature. On one hand, residents wondered where they would go and the protesters of dismantling the camp expressed this was not a solution. On the other hand, the area had been heavily polluted and there were sanitation issues with the water.


Phil America and the tent he was living in for his project and for this exhibit.

During the cleanup, officials hoped since the local government did something to control the pollution then they can do something to help the homeless. It was estimated that The Jungle had a population around 200 to 300. The city did what it could to place people in housing. Some were placed in housing, others received housing vouchers and others went to temporary shelters.

That situation reminded me of a learning activity we had done that morning with The United Way. We were broken into groups and each group member was in charge of anti-homeless facilities such as outreach centers, temporary shelters, and affordable housings. We were given a sack of brown and blue marbles to represent homeless people, and group members had to collaborate and compromise in order to reduce the number of homeless people.

The activity was tricky at first, but we eventually got the hang of it and had to make some


Marbles are people.

tough decision whether or not to accept some marbles or send them back to the streets; at times, we had to discriminate against the blue marbles. Since my team was able to make some pretty rushed and quick decisions, my team won of course. However, we were working with marbles, and there might have been more of a disconnection from the Marbles are People theme for my team than other teams.

When I think of my service duties, the one word that sticks in my head is, “barriers”. Our target populations of customers to work with are veterans, people with disabilities, mature workers, former offenders, at risk youth and the homeless. Each one of the populations is considered a barrier and it would be wrong to say those are the only barriers. I go back to think about the American Dream and its promise of lack of barriers when climbing the social hierarchy. More often than not, a barrier is not alone.

B’s Bakery: Chicken Enchiladaimage


  • 2 cups shredded deli rotisserie chicken
  • 1 can (15 oz.) Progresso™ black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 can (10 oz.) Old El Paso™ red enchilada sauce
  • ½ cup Old El Paso™ Thick ‘n Chunky salsa
  • 1 can (16.3 oz.) Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 biscuits)
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (4 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions (2 medium), if desired


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch square (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook chicken, beans, enchilada sauce and salsa over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes or until hot. Spoon into baking dish.
  3. Meanwhile, separate dough into 8 biscuits. Cut each into 8 pieces.
  4. Add biscuit pieces to chicken mixture, stirring gently until pieces are coated.
  5. Bake 25 to 28 minutes or until biscuits are deep golden brown and thoroughly baked. Sprinkle cheese evenly over top; bake 4 to 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with green onions. Serve with additional salsa, if desired.

Raleigh RendezvousWhen the Parents Came to PlayProfile Photo

By Beth

This month, my parents and sister came to visit – all of them visiting Raleigh for the first time. Although it rained for most of the four days, we made the best of our time together.

It began by visiting Doherty’s Irish Pub in Cary, where my parents were over the moon about the live Irish music being played. Both drank Irish brews and enjoyed the tunes. Brews and tunes.

The next day, Thursday, I reversed the usual “Bring your kid to work day” by bringing my parents to work. We walked into the Career Center and my dad whispered to me, “Wow, this place is huge!” I introduced them to all of my co-workers and both supervisors. They were overwhelmed yet thankful I had found people who are truly kind and supportive. For my co-workers here at Tillery reading this, thank you for embracing my family with the same southern comfort you showed me.

BBQFrom there we journeyed to Stone Mountain in Traphill, NC, where we spent the next two days in the mountains. We ate BBQ on the way up. It was smothered in vinegar based sauce and it made my stomach (and those of my family members) extremely satisfied. Also hush puppies, those are good too.

Saturday night was the highlight of our trip. I surprised my mom with tickets to theBull Durham Bulls game as part of her Mother’s Day present.  One of her favorite movies of all time is Bull Durham which is based off of the Durham Bulls. When she sat down in her seat of Section 214, she “ooh-ed” and “ahh-ed” and almost cried. She bought herself Chick-Fil-A, another first for her. After these two indulgences, what could be better? Buy a stuffed Wool E Bull, of course!

We enjoyed dessert at the Melting Pot – filling our already content tummies with delectable fondue. On Sunday we went to my church so my parents could meet my church family. From there, we went to lunch at the Carolina Ale House, so they could enjoy some more southern food and meet my work humans (part two!)

Our time together was centered on mealtimes and the South did not disappoint. Every Southern and displaced Northerner welcomed my family and demonstrated true Southern Hospitality. Next time, I’ll even introduce them to sweet tea!

May Cover


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