This week is AmeriCorps week!
AmeriCorps Week is a celebration of all things AmeriCorps – the people and programs who have committed to "Get Things Done" in thousands of locations across the country. We are taking this opportunity to highlight the AmeriCorps who help keep our programs running and to say a big THANK YOU for the work that they do.


Kimberly Barnes, YEP Coordinator
Kim is an AmeriCorps for the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP).  She is a mother of 3 sons.  She loves to write, currently working on her second book.  Kim is committed to the community and the youth, she constantly gives back to her community working with the teens in the YEP program.  Kim is creative and full of energy, her connection to the YEP's is very important.  Her presence allows the teens to realize that adults value their presence, opinion, and worth.  Kim shares her wisdom and knowledge with the Yep's and has helped the high school teens apply for scholarships and complete the free application for federal student aid. (Written by Ms.Charlotte, YEP Director)


Gage VandenBosch, Assistant farm manager
Gage is an essential part of the McLaughlin Grows family. He has been working with the farm in various capacities for the past five years, beginning as a volunteer in middle school. Gage wears many hats, besides helping with the day-to-day operations, he also is tasked with recruiting youth to the farm and developing partnerships with youth organizations. In bringing young people to the site and working with them side-by-side, he is not just helping to teach them how to grow their own food. He also acts as mentor to many who may not have a positive role model to turn to…being there as a steadying presence, and allowing these young people to find their passion for growing in a safe and nurturing place. He has a desire and drive to help others from the ground up! Gage leads through example by showing how to be a vital part of the community; growing food for our neighbors, growing future civic leaders, and growing a community of earth-conscious youth. (Written by Farm Manager Laurie)

Margarita (L) and Kiara (R) are both AmeriCorps working at the HARA program.

Margarita (L) and Kiara (R) are both AmeriCorps working at the HARA program.

Margarita De La Garza, Americorps HARA program
Margarita is the AmeriCorps Income Generator for Community enCompass. She helps individuals on our program find income whether it is through employment or government funds. She has 4 Children who she loves to spend time with, she loves to read, travel, eat, and cook. She was recently nominated for the "I am GVSU" Leadership award, she has volunteered with Salvation Army, substituted at Muskegon Public Schools, assisted the coach for MYBL Boys League, and was the match our lives Coordinator. 

Kiara Scott, Americorps HARA program
Kiara is the AmeriCorps Housing Navigator. She assists in helping people who are facing a housing crisis. She attended Western Michigan University where she studied Family Studies. She is the mother to one son. She is a member of The Black Professionals and is very active in the community.