WASHINGTON, July 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Thirty-three National AIDS
Fund AmeriCorps Program members from across the nation were
honored today at the 2001 MetLife Foundation Caring Counts
Awards for their service efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
"The work that the AmeriCorps members do is priceless in the
fight against HIV/AIDS as well in the communities and the
people they serve," said Kandy Ferree, president and chief
executive officer, National AIDS Fund. "The Caring Counts
Awards celebrate the spirit of service and commitment
AmeriCorps members demonstrate in educating communities about
HIV/AIDS and assisting individuals living with HIV/AIDS."
National AIDS Fund AmeriCorps Program members serve a minimum
of 1700 hours in a full-time capacity providing community-based
HIV prevention education, HIV testing and counseling, and
quality-of-life assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS.
AmeriCorps members shared their experiences from the past year,
and several members were recognized for their outstanding
participation at a ceremony held at the Double Tree Park
Terrace Hotel in Washington, DC. Each AmeriCorps member was
recognized with a Caring Counts Award Certificate, a special
gift, and will be honored in a Caring Counts Yearbook that will
offer insights into the AmeriCorps program and their year of
The awards, sponsored by MetLife Foundation were hosted by
actress/activist Judith Light. "I am so proud to be able to
share the stage and honor these individuals that have shared
their time, energy, and knowledge to give back to communities,"
"MetLife Foundation is delighted to recognize these dedicated
AmeriCorps members whose leadership and community service is
critical in the fight against HIV/AIDS," said Sibyl Jacobson,
president and CEO, MetLife Foundation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates
that at least half of all new HIV infections in the United
States are among people under 25. In order to improve HIV
prevention among young people, CDC research has shown that a
wide range of activities must be implemented in communities to
reduce the toll HIV/AIDS take on young Americans.
"The Fund's AmeriCorps Program is a tribute to the commitment
of corporations, individuals, and communities working together
in reducing HIV/AIDS," said Victor Barnes, director, CDC
Business Responds to AIDS/Labor Responds to AIDS.
Special recognition was given to Kathleen Murphy of AmeriCorps'
Team Charlotte and Terry Taylor and Melinda Foster, both of
Team Tulsa for their two years of national service in the
National AIDS Fund AmeriCorps program.
Murphy said of her two years of service, "The experiences alone
have added so much to who I am that I feel more confident that
I can accomplish all that I have set out to accomplish. I
think that AmeriCorps will continue to impact my life for quite
some time. It has given me direction in what I want to do in
life and to know really know what my priorities are."
Taylor, a grandmother, spoke about her experience. "I loved
working at Planned Parenthood, and wanted to return for a
second year to continue building the relationships I had been
building with the clients," she said. "My counseling position
met all of my expectations, and validated my desire to continue
my career goal of becoming a professional counselor."
Foster, also a member of the Tulsa team, said, "Working at
Community of Hope, has given me a well-rounded view of
HIV/AIDS. I have been able to experience people living with
AIDS from their physical, emotional and spiritual aspects, and
I have further developed my listening and counseling skills."
AmeriCorps members who attended the most team day events (where
they participate in community service projects or receive
additional training) were also presented were special gifts.
Honorees included, Kari Forde-Anderson and Shannon Gordhamer of
Team Charlotte, Elaine Flores of Team Chicago, Randy Banks of
Team Detroit, Jamie Baker and Terry Taylor of Team Tulsa, and
Matthew Collins-Gibson of Team DC.
Each of the year's team coordinators who took on an additional
responsibility planning, coaching, guiding and supporting their
teams were also honored for their commitment. Team
coordinators included, Kathleen Murphy of Team Charlotte,
Carrie Holland of Team Chicago, Beth Campbell of Team Detroit,
Kara Jones of Team Tulsa, Taylor Ransom of Team DC.
The National AIDS Fund AmeriCorps Program was the first
national-direct program funded by the Corporation for National
Service focusing exclusively on HIV/AIDS. Currently in its
seventh year, the AmeriCorps Program provides educational
awards and a small living stipend in exchange for community
SOURCE National AIDS Fund Web Site: http://www.aidsfund.org