Ty Jackson

Ty Jackson, born in Birmingham, AL and raised in Demopolis, AL since the age of five, graduated Cum Laude from the University of Arizona Global where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management and two graduate degrees, a Master of Business Administration, specializing in Organizational Leadership and a Master of Arts in Organizational Management, specializing in Human Resource Management. During her undergraduate studies, Ty served as an AmeriCorps VISTA and State National member. Before beginning her work with Impact America, Ty worked for YWCA Central Alabama for several years, held many positions and was part of the award-winning AmeriCorps team, where she developed her program management, leadership, community development, program development and implementation, public relations, relationship building, recruiting and retention abilities.What is your biggest strength?
I maintain a positive outlook in the face of adversity.What do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy taking trips with my closest mommy friends and indoor and outdoor activities with my family.What is your favorite quote from a book, film?
“Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.” Maya Angelou

Laurel Holmes, MPH

AmeriCorps Member, FocusFirst National Team Lead
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2020, Laurel Holmes graduated summa cum laude from The University of Alabama, where she majored in Public Health. Following this, she moved to Washington, D.C. where she earned her Master of Public Health degree from the George Washington University in 2022. No matter where she has lived, Laurel has been actively engaged in her community, volunteering with Al’s Pals Mentorship Program and the Urban Health Program. After serving with Impact America, she hopes to continue to work as a public health practitioner focusing on rural and community health promotion programs.

Questions:

What was your most meaningful service experience or extracurricular activity in college and why?
One summer as an undergraduate, I participated in a service-learning opportunity during which I traveled to San Jose, Costa Rica and served as a volunteer in community health clinics providing no-cost services to local residents. Here, my passion for community health promotion and health education were ignited.

Who is someone you admire and why?
I admire one of my undergraduate professors, Dr. David A. Birch. As a sophomore new to the Public Health major, it was in his Principles and Foundation of Health Promotion that I found inspiration from the past-president of the American Association for Health Education and my calling to make an impact for the health of Alabama communities. With Dr. Birch’s guidance and encouragement, I chose to pursue a Master of Public Health to further my abilities to make a difference as a public health practitioner.

What do you like to do for fun?
In my freetime, I like to expand my baking skills by practicing new recipes and enjoy quiet time on my back porch with a good book. Recently, I made ladyfingers and tiramisu from scratch to celebrate my fiance’s birthday!

Claire Kendall

 

Claire Kendall, born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, is currently completing her Bachelor of Arts degree from Birmingham Southern college. As a Visual Art major she studies Painting and Graphic Design. At BSC Claire is a member of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and does philanthropy work for First Light Women’s Shelter.

Name and describe a memorable place you’ve been.

The most memorable place I have visited is the Museum of Modern Art in New York. I remember standing in front of Vincent van Gogh’s painting, the Starry Night, and instantly having my breath taken. Getting to see some of the world’s most famous and influential art was an experience I will never forget.

What do you like to do for fun?

My favorite thing to do in my free time is to travel. Whether it be an hour long road trip or a week long vacay I love to be inspired by new places and adventures. When I am not traveling I am usually painting, hanging with my cat, Pickles, or spending time with friends.

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote is “Bloom where you are Planted”. I am a firm believer in taking advantage of whatever opportunity is given and being grateful for the present situation!

Mackenzie Fazenbaker

Mackenzie Fazenbaker is from Franklin, Tennessee. She graduated magna cum laude from Samford University in 2019 with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. Her major was accounting with a concentration in nonprofit management and a minor in Latin American Studies. Mackenzie graduated with a Masters in Accountancy in 2020 and obtained her Certified Public Accountant certification in the same year. She now lives in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua where she works in the administrative area of a nonprofit, bilingual school and works remotely with Impact America.

Grace Standridge

Grace Standridge, a native of Gadsden, Alabama, graduated summa cum laude from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2018. She majored in Nonprofit Management with a double minor in legal affairs and gender studies. While studying at UAB, she served as a Peer Educator for Student Multicultural and Diversity Programming and Vice President of Philanthropy for her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi. After graduation, Grace worked for community service organizations and nonprofits in the Birmingham area.
What do you like to do for fun?
My wife and I love to travel, but we are also big fans of sitting on the couch and watching Netflix with our dog, Stevie, and our cat, Lola. I also really enjoy cooking and baking!
What is your favorite quote from a book, film, or song?
My favorite quote is from a Harvey Milk speech, “Hope will never be silent.” To me, this quote speaks to the resilience of people and the power of never giving up.

Brendan Mitrisin

Brendan Mitrisin hails from Flower Mound, Texas. At the University of Alabama, he was a member of the STEM Path to the MBA program. With that program, he spent two summers abroad in India. He then went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2019 and master’s in business administration in 2020. After Impact America, Brendan hopes to work on consulting and supporting small businesses.

 

What do you like to do for fun?

I like to read, take care of my fish, play video games, and play guitar.

 

What is your favorite quote from a book, film, or song?

“‘It ain’t dying I’m talking about, it’s living,’ Augustus said. ‘I doubt it matters where you die, but it matters where you live.'” -Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove

 

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I can play Devil Went Down to Georgia on the violin.

Keyy Broadnax

Born in Anchorage, AK, and raised in Smiths Station, Alabama, Keyy Broadnax graduated from Samford University where they majored in Political Science and completed a minor in Sociology. As an undergraduate, Keyy was a member of Samford’s policy debate team and their proudest moment was winning Junior Varsity debater of the year in the Southeast region.

 

What do you do for fun?

When I am not working with the SpeakFirst students I enjoy reading, traveling, and shopping.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I’m in the process of learning Russian.

Fanta Mitchell

Fanta Mitchell, originally from Sumter, South Carolina but moved to Austell, Georgia 9 years ago, graduated from Mercer University with a double major in International Affairs and Global Health in May of 2020. As an undergraduate, she served on the executive board of Mercer’s Residence Hall Association and worked with Read United, an initiative of United Way of Central Georgia, tutoring elementary school students. After Impact, Fanta plans to attend graduate school to receive her MPH.

 

What do you like to do for fun? 

I enjoy discovering new things about the city I live in, especially trying out new restaurants! I also enjoy binge-watching new TV shows on Netflix or Hulu. 

 

Name and describe a memorable place you’ve been.

In 2018, I went to Cape Town, South Africa on a study abroad trip. It was my first, true experience of traveling abroad. Cape Town was such a memorable place because I was able to establish my love for public health and quickly added Global Health as my second major when I returned to campus.

 

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

Most people assume my name originates from the popular soda, “Fanta,” however my parents got the inspiration from the movie “Roots” by Alex Haley. 

 

Sarah Allison

Growing up in the Birmingham area, Sarah Allison graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in December of 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies with a minor in Communication Management. She is currently in a Master’s program at UAB for Teaching English as a Second Language. 

 

What do you like to do for fun?

Typically on my days off you can catch me watching a lot of anime, reading books, hanging out with my cats, or watching bad movies!

 

What was your most meaningful service experience or extracurricular activity in college and why?

I volunteered with UAB’s Language Partners program for two years, acting as an English language partner for students learning ESL. I made so many lasting friends from the program, and learned the culture and customs from all over the world!

 

Name and describe a memorable place you’ve been.

I studied abroad in South Korea in 2017, and pretty much the entire experience was a whirlwind of interesting new places, but, the most memorable place I went was a national arboretum called Garden of the Morning Calm located east of Seoul, in the Gapyeong district. It was breathtakingly beautiful, and a welcome change of scenery from the city.

 

 

Miranda Townsend

Miranda Townsend, a native of Live Oak, FL, graduated with honors from Sewanee: The University of the South in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in American studies and a minor in politics. While at Sewanee, Miranda was a member of the varsity softball team and a member of Kappa Omega Sorority, where she served as the Chair of Public Relations. After working with Impact America, Miranda plans to attend law school seeking a degree in family law. 

 

What do you like to do for fun page?

For fun, I enjoy sitting around binge watching Gilmore Girls, spending time by the pool or any body of water, and finding local coffee shops.

 

What was your most meaningful service experience or extracurricular activity in college and why?

The most meaningful service experience in college was my time spent serving at Morton Memorial Food Bank. With my time at Morton Memorial Food Bank, I would sit around and chat with people waiting to enter and I was also able to help people walk around and search for the food they need or wanted. During my four years at Sewanee, I was not only able to serve the wider community, but I was able to build lasting relationships with members of the church and people we were serving.  

 

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

Most people know me by the smile that I am always sporting. My nickname in high school, that I thankfully left behind, was “Smiley.” However, most of my friends and teammates in college also comment on how I am always smiling no matter the situation.