Michigan's AmeriCorps Member of the Month
Member of the Month – May 2022: Julia Zemmol, AdviseMI
Julia Zemmol is a full-time AmeriCorps member with the AdviseMI AmeriCorps program, where she serves at Center Line High School in Macomb County. AdviseMI is an AmeriCorps program administered by the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) that places recent college graduates in selected high schools across Michigan to support students as they make the transition from high school to postsecondary education. AmeriCorps members serve alongside school counselors as full-time college advisers dedicated to providing college access services to students and their families. Many of these high schools are located in communities with low college-going and adult educational attainment rates.
Dori Babcock, the site supervisor at Center Line High School, describes Julia as committed and dedicated to the student. “Julia has been an incredible addition to our counseling and college advising team.” She credits Julia with increasing student FAFSA completion rates by over 10%. In addition to her work with students and families on FAFSA, Julia has coordinated college admission representative visits. Despite the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic, Julia arranged for college and admissions representatives to come to the school, leading to 277 individual student-college interactions.
Julia received recognition earlier this year from Center Line High School for demonstrating innovation in her outreach approach and her continued relationships with families. Babcock states that “Julia continues to strive for innovative ways to engage members of our senior and junior classes. In addition to visiting classrooms to provide college advising lessons, she sends out detailed weekly emails to students and families listing all college-related opportunities, including scholarships.”
Furthermore, Julia has partnered with representatives at the State of Michigan and Oakland University to provide students’ families with a financial aid night, individualized awards letter support, and one-on-one meetings with TIP-eligible students. She will also be taking on a new initiative this year, planning a college fair targeting the junior class and their families to introduce students to colleges and universities in the surrounding area.