SALISBURY, MD---“You are never too old to serve your community,” Delegate James N. Mathias, Jr. (District 38B - Wicomico and Worcester counties) told the graduates of ShoreCorps/PALS, the AmeriCorps program at Salisbury University during his keynote address to the 2006-2007 class.
For the past year, or more, the 22 graduates, who range in age from 19 to 60, have been serving the Eastern Shore counties by working with at-risk youth and adolescents in schools, after-school programs, and other agencies.
Mathias talked about the influence of community service on his own life and encouraged them to continue being involved.
Other guest speakers included Teresa Garcia, program officer from the Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism, Dr. Thomas W. Jones, SU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Dr. Connie Richards, interim dean of the Fulton School of Liberal Arts.
"The value of the ShoreCorps/PALS program is not just what the members do during their year of service - it is who they become as a result of that service," said Nancy R. Hatch, program director. “In exit surveys, 100 percent of our graduating members reported that they plan to continue volunteering time in their communities in the future.
The graduates were Jennifer Baah, Joann Bailey, Theresa Boilon, Bronté Church, Rose Clay, Beth Clifton, Trevor Dean, Simone Jenkins, Anna Maria Jensen, Paula Johnson, Jeannette Kerns, Tonya Lewis, Tiffany McCrea, Megan McMenamin, Avontré McMillan, Randy Merritt, Chad Parker, Shamaine Sherwood, Harry Suber, Robert Tessier, Leigh Usilton and Jaime Wenrich.
A reception for the graduates, their family and friends and the guest speakers followed the ceremony.
Each year, AmeriCorps assists more than 15,000 local youth through academic and community mentoring.
ShoreCorps/PALS is one of only 17 state AmeriCorps programs in Maryland.
For more information, or to apply for one of the 2007-2008 positions, call 410-548-3291.