Meet The Team

"We have found that the harder the work, the more responsibility we provide, and the greater ownership we allow our team to have in shaping our initiatives, the more talented applicants we get. I continue to have a great hope in the future of our country if our current Corps is any indication of the level of commitment and thoughtfulness of our future leaders."

-Sarah Louise Smith, Executive Director

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Stephen Black

Stephen Black, President and Founder

Stephen Black, grandson of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black, grew up in New Mexico after most of his family left the state in the 1950's and 60's following his grandfather's role in controversial Civil Rights decisions, including Brown v. Board of Education. Read More >

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Sarah Louise Smith

Sarah Louise Smith, Executive Director

Sarah Louise Smith, a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, graduated cum laude from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in June 2006 with a B.A. in political economy. She received an MBA from The University of Alabama in May 2012. Read More >

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Channing Kennedy Bethke

Channing Kennedy Bethke, National Program Director

Channing Kennedy Bethke, a native of Athens, Alabama, graduated magna cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College in May 2009 with a B.A. in history and political Science and a Distinction in Leadership Studies. Read More >

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Kaitlin Nobles

Kaitlin Nobles, Development Director

Kaitlin Nobles, a native of Pinson, AL, graduated cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in economics. Read More >

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Cameron Shevlin

Cameron Shevlin, Alabama State Director

Cameron Shevlin, a native of Atlanta, GA, graduated cum laude from the University of Alabama International Honors Program with a degree in Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies through New College, a degree in Spanish, and a minor in Liberal Arts through the Blount Undergraduate Initiative. Read More >

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Lowery McNeal

Lowery McNeal, FocusFirst National Director

Lowery McNeal, a native of Trussville, AL, graduated cum laude from Auburn University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in History as well as a minor in Community and Civic Engagement. Read More >

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Karli Boulware

Karli Boulware, AmeriCorps Member

SaveFirst Training Coordinator

Karli Boulware, a native of Greenville, AL, graduated magna cum laude from The University of Alabama, where she majored in Accounting. Read More >

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Rebekah Corkey

Rebekah Corkey, Program Officer

Rebekah is a transplant from rural, western New York State. She moved to Birmingham in 2008 to study graphic design at Samford University, and fell in love with the city. Read More >

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Katelyn Dodd

Katelyn Dodd, AmeriCorps Member

SpeakFirst Middle School Coordinator, CollegeFirst Coordinator

Katelyn Dodd, a native of Panama City, Florida, graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and minors in Early American History and Corporate Strategy. Read More >

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Mary Kate Thomas

Mary Kate Thomas, AmeriCorps Member

Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Mary Kate graduated cum laude from Samford University in 2016. Read More >

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Elizabeth Brim

Elizabeth Brim, AmeriCorps Member

FocusFirst Coordinator

Elizabeth Brim, from Bedford, Indiana, attended the University of Chicago, and graduated with honors with a degree in biological sciences in 2016. Read More >

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Sami Thurber

Sami Thurber, AmeriCorps Member

FocusFirst Coordinator

Sami Thurber was born and raised in Bethesda, Maryland. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2016 with a major in Global Public Health and a minor in Women, Gender & Sexuality. Read More >

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John Gilmer

John Gilmer, Tennessee State Co-Director

A native of Mobile, Alabama, John graduated Summa Cum Laude from The University of the South: Sewanee with a double major in French studies and English literature. Read More >

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Jaimon Olmsted

Jaimon Olmsted, AmeriCorps Member

Born in Northampton, Massachusetts and raised in the nearby college town of Amherst, Jaimon went on to attend Haverford College, where he majored in political science and minored in Spanish and music. Read More >

Stephanie Strickland

Stephanie Strickland, Florida State Director

Born in Jacksonville, FL, Stephanie Strickland received her bachelor's degree in Italian & Spanish from the Florida State University where she had minors in Environmental Science & Policy management and Portuguese. Read More >

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National Advisory Board

Impact America, an AmeriCorps Program, is housed and supported by the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility at The University of Alabama.  Additional office space is provided by UAB and Maynard, Cooper & Gale, PC.