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Michigan's AmeriCorps Member of the Month

MI AmeriCorps Member of the Month - September 2014: Jacklyn Chandler, Cherry Street Community HealthCorps

Jacklyn Chandler recently began her second-year as a full-time AmeriCorps member with Cherry Street Community HealthCorps in Grand Rapids. Her service site is the Heart of the City Health Center in the Pediatrics Clinic. Jacklyn came to the Community HealthCorps program with a Multiple Bachelor of Science from Grand Valley State University in Health Professions & Psychology and a Master of Science in Community Health Education from Eastern Michigan University.

During her first year in AmeriCorps, Jacklyn became a Certified Application Counselor and provided enrollment assistance to individuals who were seeking healthcare coverage through the Healthcare Marketplace and the Healthy Michigan Plan. She also helped plan and coordinate Cherry Street Health Services’ involvement with the Healthy Kent Community Survey.

Jacklyn’s most notable accomplishment during her first serve year involved coordinating and implementing a health education program called The Cookbook Project. The Cookbook Project is an international program that focuses on the connection between food, health, and the environment. Jacklyn wrote and received a $1,950 grant from the Kent County Medical Society Alliance to fund a summer Cookbook Project program. She, along with 9 other AmeriCorps members, completed the Local Leaders Training that trains volunteers to lead Cookbook Project workshops and curriculum in conjunction with youth organizations and schools. Jacklyn was instrumental in creating the partnership with Baxter Community Center to offer a sixteen-session summer program that covered topics on kitchen safety, cooking skills, nutrition, food culture, and sustainable gardening. Eight youth participants completed this summer program that culminated with a food culture ceremony that highlighted the participants’ accomplishments.

“Jacklyn has a passion for public health, reducing health disparities and empowering patients to improve their health outcomes,” stated program director Marsha Hazen. “Although she came to this program with an impressive educational background, Jacklyn not only educates, but also seeks to learn from her fellow members and the individuals whom she serves. Her approach to service encompasses integrity, compassion and a strong desire to make a positive impact in the world around her.”

Jacklyn’s second year of service will focus on Childhood Obesity Prevention. She will continue to develop wellness promotion & health education programming.

For more information about the Cherry Street Community HealthCorps, please contact program director Marsha Hazen at (616) 726-6315 or marshahazen@cherryhealth.com. For more information about AmeriCorps, visit www.americorps.gov.