Ellie Bisese

Originally from Richmond, VA, Ellie Bisese graduated cum laude from Furman University with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences in May of 2020. As an undergraduate, Ellie spent a semester in Copenhagen, Denmark where she studied Medical Practice and Policy in Europe, as well as traveled to fifteen other countries. After serving with Impact America, Ellie plans to attend Medical School.

 

Name the most memorable place you’ve been.

When I was in college, I had the opportunity to travel to the Middle East on a month long study abroad program. While in the Middle East, we traveled to the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan. It was the site of filming for the live action version of Aladdin as well as the movie Mars, which was incredibly surreal. I had never been to a desert before, and while there, we took a jeep tour, speeding through the dunes and even got to ride camels from the caravan of a Bedouin traveler. That evening we camped under the stars, and it was truly one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had.

Who is someone you admire and why?

People like to tease me about this, but I admire Queen Elizabeth II greatly, as a self-proclaimed Anglophile. I appreciate her steadfast loyalty to her people, determination to be a noble leader, and her poise in the face of many tribulations among her nation that she has seen during her reign.  She is a very unique figurehead in this world who has truly stood the test of time as one of the greatest monarchs in British history.

What’s something you like to do for fun?

I absolutely love watching movies for fun. I’m a big fan of classic movies from the past, and firmly believe that storytelling via the big screen is one of the best mediums. I also really enjoy watching documentaries in my free time as a way to learn something new in a really interesting way.

Cammie Wolfe

Cammie Wolfe is from Conway, SC, and in 2020 graduated Magna Cum Laude from Coastal Carolina University. She received a Political Science major with minors in Women’s and Gender Studies and Philosophy. While in college she was heavily involved in organizations including Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and the Residence Hall Association. Both organizations provided leadership opportunities including attending NACURH conferences. After serving with Impact America, Cammie plans to either continue working with nonprofit efforts.

 

What is your proudest accomplishment?

My proudest accomplishment has been being a first-generation college student and navigating through the maze of higher education. On top of that is the ways I was able to get involved throughout college which has led to me serving with Impact America.  

What do you like to do for fun?

For fun, I like to go somewhere new and just explore different places and areas there. Going somewhere you’ve never been, especially if spontaneous, exposes you to places and experiences you may have never had otherwise. 

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

Volunteering at a March of Dimes Signature Chefs Fundraising Gala was something I was able to participate in through Tri Sigma. While there we helped to raise money for March of Dimes through assisting with the live auction. It was overall a very touching event because they had an Ambassador Family present who spoke about the help they received from the March of Dimes.

 

Zeline Matthews

Born and Raised in Kingstree, SC, in 2020 Zeline Matthews graduated cum laude from the University of South Carolina, where she majored in Public Health and minored in Anthropology.  As an undergraduate Zeline served as a Changing Carolina Peer Leader, Committee Chair for the Body Project Initiative, and Ronald E. McNair Scholar.

 

What’s your proudest accomplishment?

My proudest accomplishment thus far is graduating college as a first-generation student.

Who do you admire most?

My mother is one of the people I admire most because she displays strength and humility in everything she does.

What do you like to do for fun?

When I’m not serving, I enjoy cooking and traveling.

 

Margaret Gregory

Margaret Gregory was raised in Saratoga Springs, NY, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors, cum laude from Clemson University in 2020 with a B.A. in History and a minor in English. While at Clemson she served as an executive board member and varsity rower at Clemson Rowing Association and was a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. She also completed a Co-op with Clemson University Admissions and Financial Aid that provided her with valuable life and professional skills. After serving with Impact America, she plans on pursuing a Masters in English and becoming involved in Higher Education. 

 

What do you like to do for fun? 

I love to stay active! On the weekends and during my free time you can always find me outdoors on a long run or at the gym with some friends! I’ve been an athlete my whole life so exercise just brings me peace and happiness. 

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

The most meaningful extracurricular activity I was involved with at Clemson was definitely Clemson Crew. Through the rowing team I found friendship, support, and a million reasons to stay motivated. Not only was our team successful at rowing, we also found ways to support the Clemson Community. As the PR/Alumni officer on the executive board I planned and managed two “Kids Day” events. The team and I volunteered and taught the local Clemson community youth about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and the positives of joining a team sport. It was awesome to create a moment where our club could physically connect with the community. When working with kids it is so easy to see how much of an impact just a few hours can make on their lives, and I hope I can see some of them joining Clemson Crew in the future!  

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

Most people don’t realize how large of a family I have! In my immediate family there are six of us, but my extended family is massive on both sides! I feel so lucky to have huge networks of support, friendships, and amazing accomplished people that I can look up to in my life.

Ceylin Ucok

Ceylin Ucok is from Greenville, SC and graduated cum laude from the University of South Carolina in May 2020 with degrees in chemistry and anthropology. During her time as a Gamecock, she was involved in undergraduate research, volunteered with Gamecocks Aiding Refugees in Columbia, served as the vice president of Girls Without Borders, and was an ambassador for the Honors College. After serving with Impact America, she hopes to attend medical school.

 

What do you like to do for fun?

I love doing anything outdoors–some of my favorite memories are from hiking and camping trips with my friends! When I’m not hanging out with friends, I love to paint, read, or go ice skating.

What is your favorite quote?

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu, a Sanskrit mantra introduced to me by one of my best friends, translates to “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”

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

Participating in Gamecocks Aiding Refugees in Columbia (GARC) was one of the highlights of my college experience. Through GARC, I tutored refugee children in the local Columbia community. Most importantly, I learned about the barriers the refugee community faces in America and how to better advocate for the community as a whole. 

 

Shonice Forrest

Born and raised in Charleston, SC, Shonice graduated from University of South Carolina – Upstate as a sociology major with a minor in non-profit administration. In the final semester of her senior year, she earned the very first Mission Delivery Internship at Make-A-Wish South Carolina. Shonice plans on going on to attend graduate school to earn a master’s degree in public administration.

What was your most meaningful service experience or extracurricular activity in college and why?
Interning at Make-A-Wish South Carolina was the most meaningful service experience in college. Being able to grant the one true wish of critically ill children was so fulfilling. The wishes provided them something to look forward to and with a memory that’ll last them a lifetime.

Who is someone you admire and why?

Someone I admire most would be my mother. She raised me by herself and put me through school by working two jobs. She’s done all of this while having to take care of my grandfather who was diagnosed with dementia five years ago.

What do you like to do for fun?
I like to try out new restaurants with friends and explore the city.

Elizabeth Haas

Born and raised in Atlanta, GA, Elizabeth Haas graduated summa cum laude from Clemson University in December 2019 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Language & International Health, and a minor in Biological Sciences. As a Tiger, Elizabeth was a member of the Delta Zeta Sorority, Clemson University Guide Association, Clemson Wesley Foundation, Club Triathlon Team, and worked as a Group Fitness Instructor. After serving with Impact, Elizabeth hopes to work in clinical research and eventually pursue a PhD in epidemiology. 

 

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

I had the incredible opportunity to be a medical translator for the Joseph F. Sullivan Center mobile unit on Clemson’s campus my senior year. I got to travel to different areas of the Upstate and expand my medical knowledge as I assisted our nurse practitioners in treating our Spanish-speaking patients!

 

Who is someone you admire and why?

My entire life I always looked up to my sweet grandmother, Nana, who passed away in June 2018. Nana was the most selfless person I have ever known, and she instilled in me the passion to love and serve others. I want to commit my life to service and closing gaps in education and healthcare, just as my Nana did as a teacher in Birmingham City Schools in the 80s and 90s.

 

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

The summer before my senior year of high school I was selected as a Department of State NSLI-Y scholarship recipient to study abroad in Deyang, China. For 2 months, I lived with a host family and studied Mandarin at the local international school. While this was one of the most challenging experiences I have ever had, I learned so much about myself, the world around me, and my passion for learning languages!

 

Natalie Salomone

Natalie Marie Salomone was born and raised in New Jersey and moved to South Carolina in 2013. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in December 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. During her time at university she was an adult leader for Venturing, a co-ed youth program run by the Boy Scout of America that focuses on leadership, organization, communication and reasonability. 

 

What do you like to do for fun?

For fun I love to travel and experience new cultures. I got to travel extensively in North America and Europe on educational tours including Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Monaco, Poland, San Marino, Spain, Slovakia, United States, and Vatican City.

 

Describe the most memorable place you’ve been.

The most memorable place I have been was the Vatican. It is truly inspiring and beautiful, as well as a deeply peaceful and thought-provoking place. My family and I where lucky enough to be a part blessing done by the Pope. 

 

What is your proudest accomplishment? 

My proudest accomplishment is graduating college with a bachelor’s and associates degree. As a first generation American it was hard navigating the whole process by myself. However, I pride myself in doing it on my own and succeeding on my journey!

 

Tom LeGrand

Dr. Tom LeGrand comes to Impact America with significant study and experience in facilitating effective
service. He received his Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1998 and pastored or
served on staff at churches in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and South Carolina. His career in church
service has spanned almost 25 years.

Tom centered his ministry on motivating churches to engage their communities and grow awareness of
the needs around them. He led several ecumenical and multi-cultural service projects, particularly in
South Carolina. His churches cooperated on efforts to empower communities in Allendale County, as
well as ministry to the homeless in Greenville.

He earned his doctorate at Gardner-Webb University, where he focused his dissertation research on the
practice of Service-learning. He also served for four years as the Director of the University’s IMPACT
Center for Christian Ethics and Social Responsibility. He continues to offer guest lectures and teach as an
adjunct professor.

Tom and his wife, Tracy, are both graduates of Furman University. They have been married for almost 29
years and have two children: Spencer (28) and Abbie (20). Abbie is currently a sophomore at the
University of South Carolina.

Katie Bert

Katie Bert was born and raised in Prattville, Alabama and graduated from Auburn University in 2019 cum laude where she majored in Biomedical Science with a concentration in Pre-Med. Katie studied abroad in Milan, Italy as well as a short-term study abroad in the Dominican Republic. She was also an active member of her church and a member of Auburn’s Alpha Epsilon Delta club. After serving with Impact America, she hopes to attend medical school. 

What do you like to do for fun?

I love doing anything that involves being outdoors, whether it is walking my dog, going for a run, or going on a hike. I also love to travel and experience and learn about new cultures!

Name and describe a memorable place you’ve been.

It is so hard to choose just one memorable place, but I would say that out of all the places I have been Venice, Italy stands out the most. It was such a beautiful and unique place and was unlike anywhere that I have ever been. Plus the pasta and gelato were unforgettable!

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

One of my most meaningful service experiences would have to be volunteering at Give Kids the World. Give Kids the World is an organization that gives children with critical illnesses and their families a week-long, free vacation where the whole family gets to enjoy rides, shows, parties, ice cream, and so many other fun things. Volunteering here was such a life-changing experience and getting to interact and assist the families, especially the kids, reminded me of what it was like to believe in fairy tales and let go and enjoy life. The bravery and strength that every one of these children exhibited was so inspiring and I can’t wait to go back and volunteer again. The best part about this organization is that while the children are here they get to forget about their illness and get to enjoy being a kid again. Give Kids the World is by far the most magical place on Earth!