December 2016 Newsletter


‘Tis the season…

A Message from Daring Deborah


As I prepare for retirement and another life chapter, it is surely a bittersweet time; I’m excited to be moving into my new phase of life, yet sad to leave this amazing AmeriCorps team and program.  What an amazing AmeriCorps team we have this year.  You are all amazing, talented, passionate, and wonderful women. You teach me everyday to be a better person. What you are doing in AmeriCorps is a model for each and every one of us.  I hope that you continue to find joy in your service.  I know it’s a struggle at times, just remember that you are making a difference to each customer that you come in contact with, and not only with that individual but also their families and friends.  You may not realize it at the time, and neither may they, but know that you are making important contributions that change people’s lives. It has been such an honor and privilege to work with you all.  Please promise that we will stay in touch!  

All the best,



Thank you so much, Deborah, for being our fearless leader and friend these last few months! You are truly wonderful and inspiring to us all. We hope that this life transition treats you kindly and can’t wait to see what comes next for you!

Welcome to our new Program Manager, Ann Gerhardt!


To get to know Ann a little better, she answered a few fun questions for us…

What energizes you?  connecting with amazing people like you!!
What drains you?  being in the mall at the holidays 🙂
What is your favorite word?  love
What is your least favorite word?  hate
What sound do you love? love music
What sound do you hate?  scratching blackboards
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? I am already attempting it.  I wanted to be a life-coach for women and am taking steps to gain coaching certification.  
What profession other than yours would you not want to attempt? motorcycle racer!!
What is your guilty pleasure?  It’s the holiday time, so I’d say, sweets–all kinds!!

Madison’s Goal of the Month: Be Curious and Courageous.

If there is one thing that I have learned in my AmeriCorps service, it is that making connections are important; and can be very hard work. Though our experiences in life can harden us and those around us – making us seem almost unreachable to others at times – we must try to maintain genuine connections in order to keep growing and progressing. Whether it be with our families, friends, or clients that we meet at work, I believe that remaining truly curious to other peoples’ stories and seeking them out will help cultivate deeper and more meaningful connections in our work and our lives, in general. This month, I want to commit myself to being curious about those around me and having the courage to reach out and connect.

Here is a 15-minute TED Talk by Elizabeth Lesser, in which she talks about actively reaching out and connecting with others: Say your truths and seek them in others.1507ae44b56eb7027f0b2eb78244d76d1aa0f4d3_2880x1620

Kalen’s Holiday Survey


However you may spend your holidays, we hope that you all enjoy!

Chef Michelle’s Rolled Sugar Cookies



  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight), I think overnight is best.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

* For the icing – I make icing with confectioners’ sugar and milk. I make it fairly thin, so I can ‘paint’ the icing on the cookies with a pastry brush; thin enough to spread easily, but not so thin that it just makes your cookies wet and runs off.  You can dress them up with sprinkles, as well as colored granulated sugar on top of the icing!*

The I.Q. Corner

(Inspirational Quotes that energize you to “get things done” this year)tracy

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

“You cannot be a big person with a small heart.”

“From great battles come great victories”.

Until next time, be inspired….

Program Success Stories

Here’s one from our very own Tracey 🙂

“Tracey Douglas is an AmeriCorps member at the NC Works Career Center at Tillery in Raleigh.  She is new to the area and was looking for part-time work to supplement her Americorps service and monthly stipend.  Being new to the area she decided to take advantage of the vast amount of resources, information, and opportunity she has access to at her site.  She attended a CVS career fair held at her site back in early November, and within a matter of 4 days she had 2 offers of employment to be a part-time Pharmacy Tech.  Tracey will start her new job on December 10, 2016.”

Congratulations, Tracey!

*Special Mentions*

Pamela will receive her second Master’s degree on December 20 and has been accepted into a Doctoral program to receive her PhD in Business Administration. Way to go, Pam!

And farewell to Bridgette who is starting a new position in Chapel Hill after years with this program. Congratulations, Bridgette! We are all so excited for you.

December’s Photo Gallery

Have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s