Meet the Team: Alabama

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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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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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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Karli Boulware

Karli Boulware, AmeriCorps Member

SaveFirst Senior 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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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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Rebekah McMahen

Rebekah McMahen, Fiscal Officer

Rebekah migrated to the sunny south to attend Samford University, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. In 2015 Rebekah joined the Impact America team as an AmeriCorps Member, and now serves as Fiscal Officer. Read More >

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Lowery McNeal

Lowery McNeal, Recruitment Director, Member Development Director

Lowery McNeal, a native of Trussville, AL, graduated from Auburn University in 2015 with a degree in history. Read More >

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Amanda Sanderson

Amanda Sanderson, Americorps Member

SpeakFirst Program Manager

Amanda Sanderson, a native of Brandon, VT, graduated with Honors from Saint Michael's College in Vermont, with a Bachelor of Arts in peace and justice: conflict studies as well as a minor in psychology. Read More >

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Lindsey Thomas

Lindsey Thomas, Tuscaloosa Program Coordinator

Lindsey Thomas, from Greensboro, Alabama, graduated summa cum laude from The University of Alabama with a degree in human development and family studies in May 2007. Read More >

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Maggie Baucom

Maggie Baucom, AmeriCorps Member

Volunteer Coordinator

Maggie Baucom was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She moved to Birmingham in 2012 to attend Samford University, where she graduated cum laude in 2016. Read More >

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Elizabeth Brim

Elizabeth Brim

FocusFirst Director

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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Jessica Chriesman

Jessica Chriesman, Media Production Cooridator

Jessica Chriesman hails from Birmingham, Alabama, the Magic City. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in filmmaking and a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Read More >

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Isabel Hagood

Isabel Hagood, AmeriCorps Member

SpeakFirst Coordinator

Isabel, a native of Birmingham, graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and a minor in creative writing. Read More >

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Vegas Longlois

Vegas Longlois, AmeriCorps Member

Senior Corps Member, College Readiness Coordinator

Vegas Longlois, a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in folklore and mythology, and a minor in Spanish and global health and health policy. Read More >

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Chris Murphree

Chris Murphree, AmeriCorps Member

SaveFirst Training Coordinator

Christopher Murphree, a native of Birmingham, AL, graduated from the Sewanee: The University of the South in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in American Studies and minors in education and history. Read More >

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Lucy Smart

Lucy Smart, AmeriCorps Member

SaveFirst Training Coordinator

Lucy Smart, born and raised in Covington, Louisiana, graduated summa cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College with a double major in Spanish and global and comparative studies. Read More >

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Hannah Spivey

Hannah Spivey, Program Officer

Hannah, raised in Murfreesboro, TN, graduated from Birmingham-Southern College with a major in biology and a minor in psychology. Read More >

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Mary Kate Thomas

Mary Kate Thomas, SaveFirst Director

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

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Sami Thurber

Sami Thurber, FocusFirst Director

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. Read More >

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Katie Williams

Katie Williams, Deputy Fiscal Officer

Born and raised in Albany, GA, Katie Williams graduated cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in biology. Read More >

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Jillian Banner

Jillian Banner, AmeriCorps Member

Media Production Fellow

Jillian Banner is from Santa Monica, CA, and graduated in 2017 from Carleton College where she majored in cinema & media studies. Read More >

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Cassidy Bell

Cassidy Bell, AmeriCorps Member

Cassidy Bell, an Alabama native, graduated cum laude from Samford University in May 2017 with a major in English and a minor in Latin American studies. Read More >

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Lallie Bennett

Lallie Bennett, AmeriCorps Member

Lallie Bennett, a native of Meridian, MS, graduated magna cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College with a degree in psychology. Read More >

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Sheila Blair

Sheila Blair, AmeriCorps Member

Sheila Blair graduated magna cum laude from New York University, where she majored in anthropology. Read More >

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Rebecca Blanco

Rebecca Blanco, AmeriCorps Member

Rebecca Blanco attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she double majored in political science and international relations. Read More >

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Charlotte Boles

Charlotte Boles, AmeriCorps Member

SpeakFirst High School Coach

Charlotte Boles, a native of Prattville, AL, graduated summa cum laude  from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor of Science in public health. Read More >

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Kenzie Butler

Kenzie Butler, AmeriCorps Member

Kenzie Butler graduated with honors from the University of Georgia in 2017 with degrees in religion and political science. Read More >

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Tristan Campbell

Tristan Campbell, AmeriCorps Member

Tristan Campbell graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma, majoring in general studies with minors in biology and English. Read More >

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Lillie Childers

Lillie Childers, AmeriCorps Member

SpeakFirst High School Coach

Lillie Childers, a Birmingham, Alabama native, graduated cum laude from the University of Montevallo in 2017 with a major in communication studies and a minor in public relations. Read More >

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Jimika Colvin

Jimika Colvin, Program Officer

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Jimika Colvin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in human development and family studies from Auburn University. Read More >

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Wesley Dismuke

Wesley Dismuke, AmeriCorps Member

Wesley Dismuke is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. In 2017, Wesley graduated from LaGrange College where he majored in political science and minored in sociology. Read More >

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Roldyne Dolcé

Roldyne Dolcé, AmeriCorps Member

FocusFirst Coordinator

Roldyne Dolce, a native of Cap-Haitian, Haiti, has lived in the United States since she was nine. In April 2017, she graduated cum laude from the University of Florida with a B.S. in health education. Read More >

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Josh Hillman

Josh Hillman, AmeriCorps Member

Community Outreach & Logistics Coordinator

Josh Hillman graduated summa cum laude from the University of Alabama with degrees in history and political science. Read More >

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Aaron Jacobs

Aaron Jacobs, AmeriCorps Member

Aaron Jacobs hails from Swarthmore, Pennsylvania—just outside of Philadelphia. In 2017, he completed a double major in Government and Public Policy and graduated with highest distinction from the University of Virginia. Read More >

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Chandra Johnson

Chandra Johnson, AmeriCorps Member

FocusFirst Coordinator

Chandra Johnson is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. In 2016, she graduated magna cum laude from Southeastern Bible College, with a bachelor's degree in Leadership Ministries. Read More >

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Sarina Juma

Sarina Juma, AmeriCorps Member

Sarina Juma, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Agnes Scott College in 2017 with a B.A. in public health. Read More >

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Madison Kaemerer

Madison Kaemerer, AmeriCorps Member

Raised in Littleton, Colorado, Madison Kaemerer attended American University in Washington, D.C., where she graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in International Relations. Read More >

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Michelle Kagei

Michelle Kagei, AmeriCorps Member

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Michelle Mariko Kagei graduated magna cum laude from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where she majored in anthropology & human biology with a minor in global health, culture, & society. Read More >

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Bekah Leary

Bekah Leary, AmeriCorps Member

Rebekah Leary, born in Richmond, VA  lived in Kiev, Ukraine for 11 years. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2017 with a double major in Russian language and literature and youth and social innovation and a minor in global studies in education. Read More >

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Sierra Lowe

Sierra Lowe, AmeriCorps Member

Sierra is from West Palm Beach, Florida and attended college at Florida State University. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in child development. Read More >

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Declan McBride

Declan McBride, AmeriCorps Member

Declan McBride returned from Surrey, England to study Sociology at Wittenberg University, where his senior thesis focused on institutional racism surrounding Ohio Election Law. Read More >

Jamie McClintock

Jamie McClintock, AmeriCorps Member

Jamie McClintock, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, graduated summa cum laude from Auburn University in 2017, with a BA in English: Public and Professional Writing and a minor in French. Read More >

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Lindsay Natzel

Lindsay Natzel, AmeriCorps Member

Born in Walled Lake, Michigan, Lindsay moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to attend the University of Alabama where she graduated summa cum laude in 2016 and obtained her Bachelor's degree in social work with minors in psychology and Spanish. Read More >

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Laura Núñez

Laura Núñez, AmeriCorps Member

Laura, originally from Los Angeles, California, completed her undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania where she majored in international relations and minored in East Asian languages and civilizations with a concentration in Korean. Read More >

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June Rhew

June Rhew, AmeriCorps Member

June Rhew grew up in Tallahassee, Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in family, youth, and community sciences. Read More >

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Siena Richardson

Siena Richardson, AmeriCorps Member

Media Production Fellow

After moving around internationally for most of her childhood, Siena Richardson graduated with Honors from New York University in the fall of 2016, with a major in drama and minor in documentary film. Read More >

Devynne Roahrig

Devynne Roahrig, AmeriCorps Member

Returning from half a year in China teaching English, Devynne previously graduated summa cum laude from Samford University with a Bachelors in human development and family science. Read More >

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Kaitlyn Roberts

Kaitlyn Roberts, AmeriCorps Member

Born and raised in Hoover Alabama, Kaitlyn Roberts, graduated magna cum laude with University Honors from the University of South Alabama with a major in chemistry in 2017 Read More >

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Tara Runyan

Tara Runyan, AmeriCorps Member

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Tara Runyan graduated with University Honors from the University of Alabama with a psychology major and biology minor on the Pre-Medicine track. Read More >

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Ryan Schmidt

Ryan Schmidt, AmeriCorps Member

Ryan Schmidt was raised in Portland, Oregon, and graduated with honors in chemistry from Willamette University in 2017. Read More >

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Lizzie Shackney

Lizzie Shackney, AmeriCorps Member

Lizzie Shackney grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. She graduated with High Honors in government from Wesleyan University, where she was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa society. Read More >

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Yelizaveta Slutskaya

Yelizaveta Slutskaya, AmeriCorps Member

Media Production Fellow

Yelizaveta was born in Ukraine and has lived in Maryland most of her life. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2016 with a BA in anthropology with honors and a minor in film production. Read More >

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Meredith Smith

Meredith Smith, AmeriCorps Member

FocusFirst Coordinator

Meredith Smith, from Homewood, AL, graduated cum laude from Auburn University with a major in Political Science and minor in Community and Civic Engagement. Read More >

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Morgan T. M. Smith

Morgan T. M. Smith, Program Officer

Morgan Smith has lived in Birmingham, Alabama all of her life. In 2016, she graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) cum laude with a major in international studies and a minor in African American studies. Read More >

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Parker Snider

Parker Snider, AmeriCorps Member

Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Parker Snider graduated magna cum laude from Samford University, where he majored in political science. Read More >

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Jania Walker-Anderson

Jania Walker-Anderson, AmeriCorps Member

A native of Brooklyn, NY, Jania graduated from Wesleyan University in 2017 with a major in biology. Read More >

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John West

John West, AmeriCorps Member

Born and raised in Brewton, Alabama, John West graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama's Honors Program in 2017, where he majored in chemical engineering and minored in biology. Read More >

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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.