KY AmeriCorps

Celebrating 11th year of UNITE Service Corps in 2018-19

Kentucky AmeriCorps members serving with UNITE provide math tutoring and drug prevention education to elementary school students using the “Too Good for Drugs” and “Healthy Futures/Take 10” wellness curricula.
UNITE engaged 54 Kentucky AmeriCorps members at elementary schools in 15 counties (18 school districts) within its service region during the 2018-19 school year.
Read story  |  View photos from orientations
View WYMT TV story (8-21-18)
The “Too Good for Drugs” program has been found to be effective in decreasing a youth’s intention to use alcohol or other drugs and to increase negative attitudes about using alcohol and drugs. “Take 10” integrates movement with core curriculum concepts and includes nutrition education and physical activity lessons.
In addition, Kentucky AmeriCorps members serving with UNITE volunteer as sponsors for anti-drug UNITE Clubs in their schools and recruit volunteers for school-based prevention programs.


Making A Difference: A National Model

UNITE first began working with the Kentucky AmeriCorps program in May 2006 through a partnership with Eastern Kentucky University. Through this partnership, UNITE coordinated drug education programs and teacher trainings throughout the Fifth Congressional District for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years. UNITE received a grant to form its own “UNITE Service Corps” AmeriCorps initiative during the 2008-09 school year with 10 AmeriCorps members.
The UNITE initiative quickly expanded and was heralded “as a model to other rural counties across the country” in October 2012 by the head of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which directs the AmeriCorps initiative across the United States.
Success of the UNITE AmeriCorps initiative is determined through pre- and post-test surveys evaluated by the University of Kentucky. During the 2017-18 school year, the last year for which data is available:

  • 2,607 students were tutored in mathematics. Math test scores for these students showed an average growth of 30.0% in math knowledge.
  • 2,415 students were taught the evidence-based “Too Good For Drugs” and “Healthy Futures/Take 10!” wellness curricula. Test scores for these students showed an average growth of 36.1% in drug education and healthy decision-making knowledge.
  • On average, each Service Corps member mentored 32 students each week.
  • All of the Service Corps members were state certified in FEMA disaster and emergency response by the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management, enabling them to become leaders on local disaster response teams when the need arises.
  • Each member sponsored or co-sponsored a UNITE Clubs at their school.

Kentucky AmeriCorps is a national service program administered by Serve Kentucky (formerly the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service), part of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.


2018-19 AmeriCorps Members Serving With UNITE

UNITE has been awarded funding to place 54 Kentucky AmeriCorps members in elementary schools in 18 school districts across 16 counties during the 2018-19 school year. Currently serving the UNITE region are:


  Miranda Yates
Heritage Elementary
  Andrea Holbrook
Olive Hill Elementary
  Cole Brammer
Prichard Elementary
  Abby White
Tygart Elementary


americorps_mug_placeholder-web  Vickii Conley
Duff-Allen Central Elementary
  Brandi Fitzpatrick
May Valley Elementary
  Summer Hall
Prestonsburg Elementary
  Veronica Johnson
South Floyd Elementary


  Mary Bush
Black Mountain Elementary
  Destinee Jenkins
Cumberland Elementary
  Melissa Daniels
James A. Cawood Elementary
  Carol Sparks
Evarts Elementary


  Diane Middleton
Harlan Elementary


  Devin Newsome
Jenkins Elementary


  Heather Gauze
Central Elementary
  Cherysh J. Workman
W.R. Castle Elementary
  Melissa Davis
Highland Elementary
  Jennifer Salyer
Porter Elementary


  Doris Howard
Hunter Hills Elementary
  Jennifer Hampton
Keavy Elementary


  Stacy Maggard
Mountain View Elementary
  Sarah Wells
W.B. Muncy Elementary


  Carrie Dixon
Cowan Elementary


  Kendra Singleton
Hustonville Elementary
  Melissa Linkes
Waynesburg Elementary


  Brittni Lewis
Wrigley Elementary


  Pam Corneilus
Owsley Elementary


  Nora Lester
Belfry Elementary
  Courtney Case
Bevins Elementary
  Selena Damron
Dorton Elementary
  J.J. Morgan
Elkhorn City Elementary
  Clarence Hunt
Feds Creek Elementary
  Aaron Hunt
Johns Creek Elementary
  Jessica Hall
Mullins Elementary
  Ashley Bentley
Phelps Elementary
  Rachel Tackett
Valley Elementary


  Jill Stone
Nancy Elementary
  Somer Schmidt
Southern Elementary


  Tara Mink
Mt. Vernon Elementary
  Skylar Holcomb
Roundstone Elementary


  Megan Burchett
Hopkins Elementary


  Cynthia Tapley
Campton Elementary
  Brett Denniston
Red River Valley Elementary
  Tiffany Drake
Rogers Elementary


For More Information

  Melinda Kincer at or 606-386-9077.
  Marionette Little at or 606-234-5341.
  Kellie Thompson at or 606-794-3938.
trusty_debbie-2014-web  Debbie Trusty at or 606-889-0422.

Showing youth the right way to have fun


Photos & Stories about the UNITE Service Corps

  • End-of-year celebrations were held June 4, 2019, in Prestonsburg and June 6, 2019, in London for UNITE Service Corps members. View photos. 6-6-19
  • Operation UNITE receives $680,000 from AmeriCorps. View WYMT TV story. 8-21-18
  • 54 AmeriCorps members will serve with UNITE to provide math tutoring, drug prevention education. Read story. 8-9-18
  • Training on the “Too Good For Drugs” curriculum used by UNITE Service Corps members was conducted by the Mendez Foundation View photos. 10-26-16
  • UNITE Service Corps members for the 2016-17 school year attended orientation in Pikeville on September 6, 2016, and in London on October 18, 2016. View photos. 10-18-16
  • UNITE Service Corps presents “Above and Beyond” awards during a 2015-16 year-end celebration held June 9, 2016, at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg. Read story and View photos. 6-9-16
  • UNITE Service Corps receives funding for 44 AmeriCorps members in 2015-16 school year. Read story.
  • The UNITE Service Corps held a 2014-15 year-end celebration at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg on June 4, 2015. View photos. 6-4-16
  • USC members attend AmeriCorps’ 20th anniversary conference. Read story and View photos 9-12-14
  • Service, accomplishments recognized at year-end celebration. Read story and View photos 5-27-14
  • The UNITE Service Corps has received funding for 44 AmeriCorps members for the 2014-15 school year as part of its UNITE Service Corps (USC) initiative. Read story. 5-5-14
  • UNITE Service Corps expected to set record with holiday food drive collections. Read story 11-7-13
  • Wolfe County “Stuff The Bus” food drive results in largest donation ever to food pantry. View the WYMT news story. 10-29-13
  • In May 2012, the UNITE Service Corps initiative was honored for the second time in two years with the “Governor’s Citation” for its excellent leadership and service by the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS) in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Read story about the Governor’s Citation.
  • View photos from the year-end celebration conducted May 23, 2013, at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg. Read story about that event.


To learn more about AmeriCorps, Click here