In honor of National Volunteer Week, the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Commission) will present 24 Illinoisans and four businesses with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award during a special reception at the Old State Capitol on April 25, 2017 at 1 p.m. The award recognizes volunteers and volunteer programs that have made a difference in Illinois and highlights the importance of volunteerism and community service. The Governor has also proclaimed April 23-29 as National Volunteer Week in Illinois.
“Those that are honored at the event are part of millions of Illinoisans that gave 286.6 million hours of their time to others in 2016,” said Commission Executive Director Scott McFarland. “These particular individuals and businesses have gone above and beyond in their efforts at improving their communities through volunteerism. We are proud to have them serving in Illinois.”
Nearly 200 nominations were received by the Commission in six categories (adult, AmeriCorps, business, senior, Senior Corps, and youth) from the Commission’s five service regions across the state (Northeast, Northwest, East Central, West Central, and Southern). Commissioners reviewed the nomination applications and selected 28 award winners.
Sarah currently works as a Public Health Emergency Preparedness Planner at the Chester County Health Department in Southeastern Pennsylvania. She served as a full-time Illinois Public Health Association AmeriCorps Member at the McLean County Health Department in Bloomington during the 2015-2016 term of service. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Villanova University in 2015, and is currently completing a Master of Public Health degree at Benedictine University. During her year of service, she worked on several programs, including playing a key role in the Functional Needs Mapping Program and its associated Community Assessment for Preparedness and Emergency Response (CASPER). Currently, her work at the Chester County Health Department includes volunteer management, medical countermeasure planning, and community resiliency initiatives. Her research interests include climate change influences on infectious disease patterns. The immersive work in public health emergency preparedness during her AmeriCorps term has proven vital to her current position and future goals. Through Sarah’s efforts during her service at the McLean County Health Department, limited disaster resources will be assigned to the areas/populations within Bloomington-Normal with greatest need.
Learn more about the awards, other recipients, and past award winners at www.serve.illinois.gov