Meet the Team: Alabama

Melanie Jacobi Rhodes

Melanie Jacobi Rhodes, Alabama State Director

Melanie Jacobi Rhodes is a native of Pensacola, FL and graduated from Stetson University, in 2004 with a B.A. in sociology and Spanish.  While in school, she was the captain of the rowing team, volunteered with… Read More >

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Glory Akinduro

Glory Akinduro, AmeriCorps Member

Glory Akinduro was born in Macon, Georgia, but raised in Dothan, Alabama. She attended the University of Alabama in Birmingham, where she graduated cum laude with honors in April 2019. Read More >

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Chris Bertolini

Chris Bertolini, AmeriCorps Member

Chris Bertolini, born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2019 with a major in history and a double minor in Spanish and public health. Read More >

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David Beutel

David Beutel, AmeriCorps Member

SaveFirst Team Leader - Training

Born in Alabama but raised in Calhoun, Georgia, David graduated magna cum laude in 2018 from Samford University with a triple major in history, Spanish, and global studies. While at Samford, David completed the University… Read More >

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Bailey Creighton

Bailey Creighton, AmeriCorps Member

From Lawtey, Florida, Bailey graduated cum laude from the University of Alabama in 2019 with a major in microbiology and a minor in the Randall Research Scholars Program. Read More >

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Phillip Davis

Phillip Davis, AmeriCorps Member

Phillip Davis was born in New Jersey but grew up in Alabama; in 2019, he graduated with a double major in French and International Studies from Sewanee: The University of the South (both majors required a semester in Nantes, France). Read More >

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Brett Dunn

Brett Dunn, AmeriCorps Member

Brett Dunn graduated from The University of Alabama with undergraduate degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Read More >

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Julia Giggie

Julia Giggie, AmeriCorps Member

Julia Giggie, a Tuscaloosa, Alabama native, graduated magna cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College, where she majored in Psychology. Read More >

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Tyler Hill-Whatley

Tyler Hill-Whatley, AmeriCorps Member

FocusFirst Coordinator

Tyler Hill-Whatley is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. In 2018, she graduated cum laude from The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) where she majored in public health with a concentration in global health studies. While in… Read More >

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Lauren L’Etang

Lauren L’Etang, AmeriCorps Member

Lauren L'Etang-- a Tuscaloosa, Alabama native-- graduated suma cum laude in 2019 from the University of Alabama with a double major in Spanish and International Studies, and a minor in music. Read More >

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Samantha Loew

Samantha Loew, AmeriCorps Member

Samantha Loew grew up in Colorado Springs, CO and moved to Birmingham, AL to attend Birmingham-Southern College, where she graduated with a bachelor's in chemistry. Read More >

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Montana MacDonald

Montana MacDonald, AmeriCorps Member

Montana MacDonald, a native of Columbus, Ohio, graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration specializing in Finance and Economics. Read More >

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Ginny Morgan

Ginny Morgan, AmeriCorps Member

Ginny was born in Mobile, Alabama, and called the Gulf Coast her home for fourteen years. She moved to Montgomery, Alabama the summer following her freshman year and completed high school there. In May of 2019, she graduated summa cum laude from Auburn University, with a degree in Biomedical Science. Read More >

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Megan Moser

Megan Moser, AmeriCorps Member

Born and raised New Orleans, Louisiana, Megan Moser moved to Birmingham, Alabama to attend Birmingham-Southern College in 2015. She graduated cum laude with a degree in Psychology. Read More >

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Marissa Musk

Marissa Musk, AmeriCorps Member

SpeakFirst Middle School Team Leader

Marissa Musk, a native of Muskegon, Michigan, graduated with honors from Michigan State University with a degree in biomedical laboratory science. Read More >

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Kayla Myers

Kayla Myers, AmeriCorps Member

Media Production Fellow

Kayla Myers, a native of Memphis, TN, graduated magna cum laude in 2018 from The University of Missouri where she dual majored in Journalism and Digital Storytelling. Read More >

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Leopold Nkengbeza

Leopold Nkengbeza, AmeriCorps Member

Born in Cameroon, Africa, Leopold Nkengbeza grew up in Huntsville, AL and attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he graduated with honors in the spring of 2019. Read More >

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Lawrence Perry

Lawrence Perry, AmeriCorps Member

SaveFirst Team Leader - Outreach

Lawrence, a native of Birmingham Alabama, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018, with a B.A. in political science and philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) and minor in consumer psychology. Read More >

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Ciara Pritschet

Ciara Pritschet, AmeriCorps Member

SpeakFirst High School Coach

Ciara Pritschet has traveled over 1,200 miles from Brainerd, Minnesota to serves as a SpeakFirst High School Debate Coach after graduating from St. Cloud State University with a B.A. in sociology and University College Dublin where she graduated cum laude with a Master's degree in sociology. Read More >

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Ronan Pritschet

Ronan Pritschet, AmeriCorps Member

Ronan Pritschet hails from Minnesota and attended college at St. Cloud State University majoring in business economics and minoring in finance. Read More >

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Eddie Randall

Eddie Randall, AmeriCorps Member

FocusFirst Coordinator

Edwin Randall, native of Hoover, Alabama, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama  with a degree in psychology in 2018. As an undergraduate, Edwin served as a Lead Volunteer for the Every Move… Read More >

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Steve Small

Steve Small, AmeriCorps Member

Steve Small, from Calera, Alabama, graduated from The University of Alabama with a B.S. in finance with a specialization in economics in 2019. Read More >

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Rebecca Strange

Rebecca Strange, AmeriCorps Member

A resident of Leeds, Alabama, Rebecca graduated summa cum laude from Auburn University with a degree in anthropology. Read More >

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Jim Sydnor

Jim Sydnor, AmeriCorps Member

SpeakFirst High School Team Leader

Born and raised in Birmingham, AL, Jim Sydnor graduated from California State University - Fullerton with a major in Sociology and minor in Philosophy.  He continued his studies at San Francisco State University, earning an interdisciplinary master's degree. Read More >

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Mikalyi Threat

Mikalyi Threat, AmeriCorps Member

Mikalyi Threat was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Read More >

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Miranda Townsend

Miranda Townsend, AmeriCorps Member

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. Read More >

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Jake Webb

Jake Webb, AmeriCorps Member

Media Production Fellow

A well-traveled New Englander, Jake Webb grew up in New Hampshire and graduated in 2019 from the University of Puget Sound with a BA in English (emphasis Creative Writing) and Communication Studies with a minor in Chinese Language. Read More >

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Ayanna Wedgeworth

Ayanna Wedgeworth, AmeriCorps Member

SaveFirst Volunteer Coordinator

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Ayanna Wedgeworth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Alabama, where she majored in Communications with a minor in Gender and Race studies. Read More >

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Maddie Wyatt

Maddie Wyatt, AmeriCorps Member

Maddie Wyatt is from Thomasville, North Carolina, a small town with a once-thriving furniture industry that is now relegated to the shadows cast by a 30-feet-tall "Big Chair" landmark featured in the center of town.… Read More >

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Nathan Yoguez

Nathan Yoguez, AmeriCorps Member

FocusFirst Coordinator

Born and raised in Los Angeles county of California, Nathan Yoguez graduated from Samford University in 2016, where he majored in philosophy and religion and minored in medical ethics, and from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in 2018, where he obtained his Master of Public Health in health policy and systems management and gained community service honors. Read More >

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Yu Zheng

Yu Zheng, AmeriCorps Member

Born and raised in Tianjin, China, in 2013 Yu Zheng moved to United States. In 2019, she graduated summa cum laude from University of Alabama with a double major in accounting and finance. Read More >

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